Life and Environment

Living systems and their environment are perhaps the most archetypical examples of Complex Systems. Their study involves the consideration of a huge range of time and space scales, from small biomolecules to the whole Earth, and has implications in health, conservation, and global change.

At IFISC, researchers have investigated genetic circuits, virus-host interactions, or microbial population dynamics, together with the different effects of noise and the statistical properties of the resulting communities. At a larger scale, different neuroscience topics, such as the role of inhibitory neurons on information processing, coding, and learning, their effects on the computational properties of cortical layers, or the impact of brain-network organization on mental diseases. Epidemics has been the focus of a number of studies, as well the use of ideas from statistical mechanics to the optimal use of medical have been also topics of interest.

Ecological modeling, aerial and satellite observations, and machine learning methods have allowed describing and understanding vegetation distributions on landscapes and seascapes, to detect the occurrence of plagues in plants, and to infer the evolution of seagrass meadows or coral reefs, all under the effects of global change. Animal motion has been tracked and studied. Innovative network-based methodologies have been used to characterize flow structures and transport in oceans, and their influence on the dispersion of abiotic properties and materials (temperature, microplastics), and of organic and living matter (detritus, phytoplankton). Teleconnections in the atmosphere and in the climate system have been investigated and used to anticipate weather and climate patterns associated to extreme events. 



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