WP 2 Ecosystem Emergency Management

The objective of our work here in WP 2 is to assess management alternatives in response to pest outbreaks and to develop expert systems for ecosystem emergency management.

Description of work

The investigation will focus on short-term emerging species compositions in ecosystems (i.e. pest outbreaks) and the societal need for immediate reactive response to disrupted system services. We exploit historic observations and expert systems modelling to improve preparedness to events leading to short-term alteration. We recognise different drivers such as climate, land use or rare stochastic events in spatially explicit dynamic models of managed individuals and populations. Expert systems, e.g. rule-based process models, are a key method used for emergency risk assessment, consequence evaluation and development of management catalogues for short-term emergence. Effort is put to provide transparent transfer of knowledge basis in the context of (usually unforeseen) emergence events.

Spatial approaches
Ecology-based management model of invading pathogens of wild boar
Formal risk assessment of pathogen introduction scenarios

Main research questions

Which general principles of e.g. invasion ecology or management of infectious pests, allow for a transparent but flexible expert system for timely response in case of emergency?

Which synthesized principles from research on long-term ecosystem emergence (WP3+4) can effectively be transferred and applied to the emergency context?


  • Ecological-epidemiological modeling using tailor-made computer software
  • Data and knowledge driven risk assessment


Dr. Hans-Hermann Thulke
Department of Ecological Modelling
Hans-Hermann Thulke