My main area of research is the study of collective phenomena mediated by social interactions and mobility. My research is characterized by the combination of data analysis and modeling in order to advance both the understanding of the connection between basic microscopic mechanisms and emergent phenomena from a fundamental perspective, and in the development of models that incorporate details closer to the description of the real world. I am also interested in transfering concepts and methodologies across different fields (e.g. from statistical physics to the life sciences). A signature of my record is the interdisciplinarity which is reflected in the collaborations and the journals where I have published.
My background is the physics of complex systems with a strong interdisciplinary component. After my Ph.D. at IFISC (CSIC-UIB) I made a postdoctoral stay at the Harvard School of Public Health, where I got involved in epidemiological problems. Currently I have a fellowship from the UIB on ‘Megacities, mobility, social networks and epidemic risk in the era of Big Data’. I have authored 24 papers, and I am the leading author of 10 of them. I have also been the leading author of 2 book chapters and author of one more. I have published in leading interdisciplinary journals (PNAS, IF=9.58) and specialized journals in physics (PRL, IF=9,227) or in ecology (TREE, IF=15,236).
- Spreading processes. I have worked on theory of spreading processes (Frontiers in Physics 6 21) and also in more data-driven research where we assessed the risk of nosocomial infections due to the transfer of patients between hospitals in the whole USA (Scientific Reports 7 2930). This work received the Best Paper Award at SBP-BRIMS 2017. Recently I have also worked on the analysis and modeling of Ebola and cholera in Sierra Leone (PNAS 117 5067).
- Mobility and Metapopulations. On the one hand, mobility shapes face-to-face interactions in social systems. On the other hand, metapopulations provide a valuable framework for the description of phenomena in large structured populations. I have worked on both this topics and the combination of them. I have studied the ecological theories that frame human mobility (TREE 32 198) and also movement in the ocean, be it of animals (Scientific Reports 7 112, PNAS 201716137 biggest data set on marine megafauna movement assembled at the time) or of vessels (Scientific Reports 6 30682). I used a combination of mobility and metapopulations for the study of the spread of nosocomial infections in the network of US hospitals (Scientific Reports 7 2930) and for the study of opinion dynamics, matching an opinion dynamics model with real data on electoral results in the US (PRL 112 158701). This work has received attention (Physics Focus and PRL editor’s suggestion) as to have follow-ups (PRE 97 062313) and an extension in a Master thesis that I codirected.
- Complex networks. Complex networks represent interactions and thus are the skeleton of a system. My interest ranges from theoretical studies on the relationship between form and function, to the study of real networks. In particular, I have focused on the importance of the timing of interactions (PRE 84 015103, Temporal Networks, 331-352, Scientific Reports 7 7166), the inclusion of states on the links of network (PRE 86 066113), the plasticity of ecological networks (Applied Network Science 4 23), and higher order structures of networks (Scientific Reports 9 11710).