A major part of my work is developing social-ecological system models, i.e. quantitative models that integrate ‘the human’ and ‘the non-human’ dimensions of social-ecological systems. My models are most often based on systems science and usually view social-ecological systems as complex adaptive systems. Due to my strong interest in network science, the focus is often on the connectivity (also a resilience determinant) between elements and the outcomes of the connectivity. Another common factor in my models is resilience thinking in terms of understanding how the system structure influences its resilience, or the resilience of the elements embedded in the system, whether the model in question is a static or simulation model. 

Social-ecological models require quite a lot of data, both discipline-specific and interdisciplinary expertise, knowledge of methods, and an in-depth understanding of social-ecological system theories. Hence, they are usually based on working with a multidisciplinary team. Together with my colleagues, I have modeled invasive species management, biodiversity conservation, cultural keystone species, etc. – and food web changes using a social science method! Capturing human-environment interactions and the systems they are embedded in can often be done by utilizing existing data, i.e. by combining datasets in new ways. 

For me, one of the most intriguing parts of social-ecological modeling is testing and further developing emerging ideas on how social-ecological systems work and bringing together theories from diverse fields related to social-ecological dynamics. Social-ecological models are based on the insight that social-ecological systems are not just social and ecological systems. The intertwined nature of social-ecological processes and the interactions between the human and non-human components of the social-ecological systems can include system structures and dynamics that are important for the system functioning but that the social and ecological models on their own are not able to detect. 

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