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Topological keystone species: network analysis in modern systems ecology

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Fabien Petitcolas.

Abstract: Systems thinking is an old but reviving attitude in modern ecology. One of its most hopeful tools is network analysis. Beyond studying the large-scale, macroscopic properties of ecological networks, it seems to be increasingly interesting to reveal also the local and meso-scale properties of these webs. I will discuss several new techniques for characterizing part-to-whole relationships in ecological systems and the computational challenges they raise. In particular, various centrality measures for individual nodes and node sets will be presented, their relationship and relevance will be illustrated. Beyond measuring centrality, I will offer an approach to measuring uniqueness in a topological sense. Finally, three studies on how to link structure to dynamics will be presented. I will conclude by discussing the future of systems-based conservation.

Biography: Ferenc Jordán was born in Budapest, Hungary, on 11 June 1973. He studied Biology (MSc 1996) and received his PhD in Genetics (1999) from Eötvös University, Budapest. Ferenc was an assistant professor at the Department of Genetics, Eötvös University (1999-2002), a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Ecology and Plant Taxonomy, Eötvös University (2002-2003), an associate professor at the Institute of Ecology and Botany of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (2003-2006) and a research professor at the Animal Ecology Research Group of HAS (2007-2008). He was also a Junior Fellow (2000/2001) and Branco Weiss Fellow (2003-2008) at the Collegium Budapest, Institute for Advanced Study. The latter was supported by the Society in Science foundation, ETH , Zürich, Switzerland. Ferenc has given a number of talks in different countries (from India to Taiwan and from the US to South Africa) and maintains a rich network of collaborators in 8-10 countries. He was a participant in the Darwinian Homeland Security workshop organized at NCEAS , Santa Barbara, CA (2005), and is an editor for Ecology Letters. Ferenc joined CoSBi in October 2008.

This talk is part of the CoSBi Computational and Systems Biology Series series.

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