Project Description

Serguei Saavedra

Mitsui Chair Professor

Research Interests: network and community ecology


Telephone: 617.715.2597
Research Website:


  • Ph.D. Engineering Science, 2010, Oxford University

Research Interests

Professor Saavedra runs the Network and Community Ecology group. Ecological communities (the ensemble of species interaction networks in a given local site and time frame) are dynamic and constantly reorganizing. The research goal of his group is to understand and model the extent to which the structure and reorganization of interaction networks can act as community-controlled responses of species to environmental perturbations. Understanding how these environmental variations impact interaction networks, and how this in turn impact species persistence is of central importance for developing strategies for sustaining ecosystem services that depend on biodiversity, such as: nutrient cycling, water quality, and human health, among others. His group develops quantitative tools based on feasibility analysis and network science to test community theory with field data. This synthesis is more than ever necessary as the frequency and magnitude of environmental variations is drastically increasing as a consequence of global environmental change.

Selected Publications

  1. Serguei Saavedra, Rudolf P. Rohr, Luis J. Gilarranz, Jordi Bascompte. “How structurally stable are global socioeconomic systems?” in  R. Soc. Interface11: 20140693 (2014)
  2. Rudolf P. Rohr, Serguei Saavedra, Jordi Bascompte. “On the structural stability of mutualistic systems,” in Science345: 1253497 (2014).
  3. Serguei Saavedra, Rudolf P. Rohr, Vasilis Dakos, Jordi Bascompte. “Estimating the tolerance of species to the effects of global environmental change,” inNature Comm. 4: art. num. 2350 (2013).
  4. Serguei Saavedra, Daniel B. Stouffer. “Disentangling nestedness disentangled,” in Nature500: E1-E2 (2013).
  5. Serguei Saavedra, Daniel B. Stouffer, Brian Uzzi , Jordi Bascompte. “Strong contributors to network persistence are the most vulnerable to extinction,” in Nature478: 233-235 (2011).
  6. Serguei Saavedra, Felix Reed-Tsochas, Brian Uzzi. “A simple model of bipartite cooperation for ecological and organizational networks,” in Nature457: 463-466 (2008).
  7. Serguei Saavedra, Felix Reed-Tsochas, Brian Uzzi. “Asymmetric disassembly and robustness in declining networks,” in  Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105: 16466-16471 (2008).