R.M. Parsons Laboratory
Environmental Science and Engineering
Email: sersaa@mit.edu
Bldg-Room 48-427
Phone: 617.715.2597
Website: Structural Ecology

Serguei Saavedra

Mitsui Career Development Assistant Professor


  • ETH and University of Zurich - Dept. Environmental Systems, Switzerland (2015). 
  • Doñana Biological Station - Integrative Ecology Group, Spain (2012-2014).
  • Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems, USA (2010-2012).
  • Oxford University, UK (PhD in Engineering Science, 2010). 

Other Affiliations

  • Member of the Joint Committee on Biological Research (WHOI)  
  • Editor at Ecology Letters

Teaching Interests

  • Fall - Uncertainty in Engineering (Intro to Probability and Statistics) 
  • Spring - Fundamentals of Network and Community Ecology

Research Interests

Our Research Program: We study the response of ecological communities to environmental variations through the lens of the structural stability of feasible dynamical systems.

What is structural ecology? Conceptually, we define structural ecology as the study of the tolerance of an ecological community to changes in its structure and dynamics as a consequence of environmental variations. Formally, this can be defined as the stability of the feasibility of a dynamical system as a function of changes in its dynamics model.
How we do it? Combining mathematical, network, community ecology, and field data. Following an approach based on structural stability, feasibility, convex geometry, and probability.
Why we do it? To estimate future changes in ecological communities and understand their past. To quantify the limits at which ecological communities may no longer mitigate the effects of climate change.