Kolloquium: Vanessa Weinberger


  • Datum: 14.07.2022
  • Uhrzeit: 14:00 - 15:00
  • Vortragende(r): Vanessa Weinberger
  • Universidad Mayor, Chile
  • Ort: Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie
  • Raum: Hörsaal (C0.001)
  • Gastgeber: Axel Kleidon
Modeling Socio-Ecosystems: conditions for sustainability

All species on earth, including humans, are sustained by fluxes of energy and materials from this finite planet. However, the demands that modern human societies have upon the biosphere have changed regular processes of the earth system at the global scale, threatening the conditions in which the human species has thrived, and with it, its own sustainability. Understanding the relations that the human species have within the natural system has therefore become key for regulating the stability and resilience of the coupled system. Socio-ecosystems models arise as an adequate approach for studying this claim.

This talk presents different theoretical approaches of socio-ecosystems, based on scaling theory, dynamical modeling and network theory, for quantifying and understanding (i) the implications of energy use as driver of the outlier condition of human societies from regular ecological rules, and the implications that these anomalies imply for sustainability; (ii) the conditions under which technological development and impact could support urban societies, and the scenarios that they imply; and (iii) the development of new systemic indexes that accounts for ecosystem’s grow, development and resilience that could guide sustainable development of modern human societies.

This research has determined that (i) societal complexity is tightly linked to energy use, but its maintenance imply subsidy from scales that go beyond local and ecological spatio-temporal regimes (i.e. primary productivity at the local scale); (ii) that only through green technology can basic well-being standards be shared for urban human societies, but these regimes are closely related to catastrophic population crashes if these conditions cannot be met; and (iii) that synergy between ecosystem’s processes appear key for obtaining the required resources for sustaining and developing modern human societies.


Our weekly lecture series includes internal seminars by our scientists as well as colloquia by scientists from mostly international research institutes. Guests from our local academic partners are welcome upon request.

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