Dr. Thomas Banitz


Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Department of Ecological Modelling

Permoserstr. 15
04318 Leipzig



I develop and apply computational models to investigate key mechanisms in ecological systems, emergent population and community dynamics, and ecosystem functions. Specific topics include the causes and consequences of organisms’ dispersal, interactions, traits, diversity and spatiotemporal organization, and effects of environmental heterogeneity, stress, disturbance and change.

Within the research project BioDT, I study grassland biodiversity responses to environmental and land use change. Simulations with the individual-based model GRASSMIND become part of a digital twin prototype for analyzing and understanding biodiversity dynamics.

Within the research project CauSES, I work on comparing and joining ecological modelling with other scientific methods to study causation in social-ecological systems. These systems are particularly complex, and often face various changes and sustainability problems. Computational models are an important part of interdisciplinary approaches to address these challenges.

My research further deals with microbial ecology. For example, I explore the role of interactions between bacteria and fungal networks on ecosystem processes and functions, especially on bacterial transformation of chemicals. Moreover, microbial ecosystems are used to investigate and improve general ecological and evolutionary theory.

I also work on the concepts and methods for developing and analysing different kinds of computational models (e.g. population-level models, individual-based models, metabolic models), combining these models with data, and using them to understand and predict system dynamics under various environmental regimes.

Selected Publications

2024 (5)

2023 (3)

2022 (3)

2021 (1)

2020 (2)

2019 (2)

2018 (3)

2017 (2)

2016 (5)

2015 (2)

2014 (1)

2013 (2)

2012 (1)

2011 (3)

2008 (1)

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