Jordi Bascompte is Professor of Ecology at the University of Zurich and Director of its Specialized Master on Environmental Sciences. He has been ranked by Thompson Reuters as one of the most highly cited ecologists in the decade 2002-2012. Among his distinctions are the European Young Investigator Award (2004), the Ecological Society of America's George Mercer Award (2007), the Spanish National Research Award (2011), and the British Ecological Society's Marsh Book of the Year Award (2016). Recipient of an ERC's Advanced Grant, Jordi has served in the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science and has been the Ideas and Perspectives Editor at Ecology Letters. His research has been featured in some of the top journals including Nature, Science, and PNAS. Among his books are Self-Organization in Complex Ecosystems (with R.V. Solé) and Mutualistic Networks (with P. Jordano), both published by Princeton University Press.
Jordi obtained a PhD in Biology by the University of Barcelona (1994), supervised by Ricard V. Solé. This was followed by a postdoctoral position in Steven Frank's laboratory at the University of California, Irvine (1996 and 1997). Later on, he was awarded an independent postdoctoral fellowship by the USA National Science Foundation at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) (1998 and 1999). In 2000, he became Associate Professor (Professor from 2008) at the Estación Biológica de Doñana, a center of the Spanish Research Council in Sevilla, where he stayed until moving to Zurich in 2015.
We combine mathematical models, simulations, and data set analyses to address fundamental and applied questions in ecology.
Our current major research interest focuses on the structure and dynamics of ecological networks. This complements main approaches to biodiversity research that neglect species interactions or assume these are homogeneously distributed.
As an example, our application of network theory to the study of mutualisms among free-living species has provided a quantitative framework to address mutualistic interactions at the community level. Our work has shown that these networks of mutual dependencies between plants and animals present general architectural patterns that maximize the number of coexisting species and increase the range of perturbations that can be withstood before one or more species goes extinct.