EWS workshop September 2, 2016 (Montpellier, France)

2016_AfficheEWSAfter the coming EcoSummit conference in Montpellier France (29 August – 1 September 2016) there will be a day of workshop on indicators of degradation in ecosystems organised by Sonia Kéfi and Pierre Couteron. This workshop is connected to the conference session on Indicators of Tipping Points.

The idea of the workshop is to get an overview about the underlying theory and the available tools. This day is open to everyone but especially targets students, young reserachers and anyone who would like to quantify indicators of degradation on his/her own data.

To stimulate discussions, participants can apply for a flash talk to present their research topic/data set (please apply by Friday 26 August).

Participation is free, but a subscription is requested (please send an email to Sonia Kéfi with the subject : “EWS day”).


Invited speakers :

Vishwesha Guttal, Indian Institute of Science, Bengalore, India

“Theory of tipping points and their indicators”

Vasilis Dakos, ETH, Zürich

“Temporal early warning signals”

Ehud Meron, Ben Gurion University, Israel

“Periodic vegetation patterns and dryland degradation”

Pierre Couteron, AMAP, Montpellier

“Quantification of spatial indicators on aerial images”



The workshop will take place at Amphithéatre Charles Flahaut, Institut de Botanique, 163 rue Auguste Broussonnet, 34090 Montpellier.

The nearest tram stops are Albert 1ier – Saint Charles (on tram line 1) or Albert 1ier – Cathédrale (on tram line 4).

Map InstitutBota

EWS package gets into WICI Data challenge finalists!

An interactive visualization version of the earlywarnings R package for critical transitions in the Data Challenge competition organised by the Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation got into the 4 finalists. Although not reaching the first place, the reviews were flattering and Leo Lahti and myself got the kick into developing the package further. You can read more on it here and soon there will be more to follow.

Special issue on early-warnings and regime shifts in journal of Theoretical Ecology

The current issue of Theoretical Ecology is dedicated on Early Warnings and Tipping Points in Ecology. This special issue was co-edited by Vasilis Dakos and Alan Hastings and contains 11 original research papers from key contributors of the topic. You can find a complete list of content here. We hope it will have a strong impact in the further development of anticipating regime shifts in complex systems. It will be highlighted in the upcoming ESA conference in Minneapolis.

early warnings in space in experimental and field data

Two interesting papers on empirically demonstrating the detection of critical transitions using the generic early warnings have been recently published in high profile journals. Dai et al showed experimentally that a disturbance in connected yeast populations affects longer spatial scales close to a critical transition. The authors introduced this effect as the analogue of ‘recovery time‘ in space: namely ‘recovery length’ to show that it increases prior to a critical transition. Streeter and Dugmore used transects to substitute time for space and measured early warnings for land surface transitions. They found signatures of variance and autocorrelation in tephra deposits along transects that cut across 6 types of landscape thresholds. This is the first study that early warning have been used for critical transitions across space in field observations for such types of transitions. Also in this study the authors have used our recently developed earlywarnings package for R. These two studies are brilliant examples of applying early warning research in creative ways performing experiments in the lab, or looking for experiments conducted by nature.