Institut für Umweltsystemforschung

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Theoretical Systems Science Research Group


Horst Malchow, Head

Michael Bengfort, Teaching and Research Assistant

Research Profile

The main research interests are in the theory and computer simulation of self-organization in nonlinear biological and ecological systems far from equilibrium, in particular

  • stochastic and deterministic theory of complex spatio-temporal pattern formation in systems with interactions, diffusion and advection,
  • theory of density- and space-dependent diffusion coefficients and reaction rates,
  • rapid diffusion and advection processes, perturbation-theoretical methods,
  • sensitivity analysis of dynamical systems,
  • applications to biochemical reaction systems, differentiation of cell communities and biomorphogenesis, nucleation phenomena, enzyme kinetics, biosensorics as well as population dynamics,
  • analysis of coupled models of hydrodynamics, transport and nonlinear biological and biochemical interactions with applications to marine ecosystem and water-quality modelling,
  • pattern formation in hybrid population-dynamical models,
  • fractal patterns of motion of rule-based model components,
  • theory of bioinvasions with applications to the spread of infectious diseases and invasive plants,
  • noise-induced spatiotemporal pattern formation and dynamics.

Research Projects


MaMPFi: Mathematical Modelling of Plankton-Fish Dynamics

MaMBIES: Mathematical Modelling of Bioinvasions and Epidemic Spread

DynaTrait - Flexibility matters: Interplay between trait diversity and ecological dynamics using aquatic communities as model systems (DFG Priority Program 1704)
Support: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Duration: 2013 -


Mathematical modeling of transmission, spatial spread and control of infectious diseases
Support: Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), VIGONI Programme
Duration: 01.01.2006-31.12.2007, 01.01.2009-31.12.2010

Mathematical modeling and computer simulation of biological invasions with applications to the spatial spread of infectious diseases and genetically modified organisms
Support: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Duration: 01.03.2005-28.02.2009

Study of pattern formation in plankton populations under the effects of toxin producing phytoplankton, infection and environmental factors
Support: Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH)
Duration: 01.05.2004-30.04.2005

Impact of Biotic and Abiotic Factors on the Dynamics of Spatially and Physiologically Structured Populations in Large Aquatic Ecosystems
Support: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Duration: 01.11.2001-31.03.2004