Bernd Blasius is a professor for Mathematical Modelling at the University of Oldenburg. He is also a founding member of the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB).

Bernd Blasius works at the theoretical description of complex living systems at the interface of theoretical ecology and applied mathematics. Using modern tools from statistical physics, complex networks, dynamical systems theory and data science, he aims to obtain fundamental insights into the organization of living systems, but he is also concerned with the application of such concepts to specific biological systems and tangible applications.

Major research activities include such diverse fields as population dynamics and species interactions in spatially extended environments, biodiversity, bioinvasion and epidemic spread, evolution and adaptation, animal navigation and search strategies, origins of life, microbiology, and marine biogeochemistry.

**Most important scientific contributions (together with co-authors):**

- seminal contributions to the field of population cycles (Nature 1999, 2019, PNAS 2010, Nature Ecol. Evo. 2017)
- major contributions to the theory of biological invasions (Ecol. Lett. 2013, 2017, Glob. Change. Bio. 2015, PNAS 2016, Nature Comm. 2017)
- pioneering the notion of phase synchronization in ecology (Nature 1999)
- originating the field of apative networks (Phys. Rev. Lett. 2006, J. R. Soc. Interface 2007)
- postulation of the intermediate distance hyopthesis for biological invasions (Ecol. Lett. 2017)
- first quantitative description of the global shipping network (J. R. Soc. Interface 2010)
- pioneering the statistical physics of board games (Phys. Rev. Lett. 2009)
- introduction of structural kinetic modelling to metabolic networks (PNAS 2006)
- discovery of the phenomenon of supersensitivity to model structure (Biol. Lett. 2005)
- first discovery of chimera states in coupled populations of oscillators (Phys. Rev. E 2014)
- discovery of quasiregular ring waves in heterogenous media (Nature 1999, Phys. Rev. Lett. 2005)
- discovery of the phenomenon of anomalous phase synchronization (Phys. Rev. E 2003)
- discovery of the phenomenon of an enhanced Moran effect (Nature Comm. 2015)

Realization of the longest known predator-prey time series

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Predator–prey cycles rank among the most fundamental concepts in ecology, are predicted by the simplest ecological models and enable, theoretically, the indefinite persistence of predator and prey. However, it remains an open question for how long cyclic dynamics can be self-sustained in real communities. Field observations have been restricted to a few cycle periods and experimental studies indicate that oscillations may be short-lived without external stabilizing factors. Here we performed microcosm experiments with a planktonic predator–prey system and repeatedly observed oscillatory time series of unprecedented length that persisted for up to around 50 cycles or approximately 300 predator generations.

Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is the main energy source for marine heterotrophic microorganisms, but a small fraction of DOC resists microbial degradation and accumulates in the ocean. The reason behind this recalcitrance is unknown. We test whether the long-term stability of DOC requires the existence of structurally refractory molecules, using a mechanistic model comprising a diverse network of microbe-substrate interactions…

We analyze synchronization between two interacting populations of different phase oscillators. For the important case of asymmetric coupling functions, we find a much richer dynamical behavior compared to that of symmetrically coupled populations of identical oscillators. It includes three types of bistabilities, higher order entrainment, and the existence of states with unusual stability properties. All possible routes to synchronization of the populations are presented and some stability boundaries are obtained analytically. The impact of these findings for neuroscience is discussed.

The rate of biological invasions has strongly increased during the last decades, mostly due to the accelerated spread of species by increasing global trade and transport. Here, we combine the network of global cargo ship movements with port environmental conditions and biogeography to quantify the probability of new primary invasions through the release of ballast water…

Many real-world networks are characterized by adaptive changes in their topology depending on the state of their nodes. Here we study epidemic dynamics on an adaptive network, where the susceptibles are able to avoid contact with the infected by rewiring their network connections. This gives rise to assortative degree correlation, oscillations, hysteresis, and first order transitions. We propose a low-dimensional model to describe the system and present a full local bifurcation analysis. Our results indicate that the interplay between dynamics and topology can have important consequences for the spreading of infectious diseases and related applications.

Population cycles that persist in time and are synchronized over space pervade ecological systems, but their underlying causes remain a long-standing enigma. Here we examine the synchronization of complex population oscillations in networks of model communities and in natural systems. In the proposed spatial model, each local patch sustains a three-level trophic system composed of interacting predators, consumers and vegetation. Populations oscillate regularly and periodically in phase, but with irregular and chaotic peaks together in abundance—twin realistic features that are not found in standard ecological models…