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Lucia Tamburino

Post-Doc at the Crop Production Ecology Department of SLU (Swedish University of Agriculture Sciences), on  modelling the co-evolution of societies and managed ecosystems.


My main research interest are the relationships between population and resources in different kind of systems, with focus on socio-ecological systems. My aim is to identify general mechanisms driving the population dynamics and thus the best strategy for the resource management.

I use a modelling approach, ranging from system dynamics models (such the classic Lotka-Volterra) to agent-based models.



Resource-population relationships are not only an interesting a fascinating issue, but they also represent a key-factor driving the dynamics of the ecosystems and, ultimately, of the whole life: every living being requires energy to survive, to grow and to reproduce, and it derives this energy in some form, from various sources.

For a population, the possibility of achieving a stable equilibrium or, vice versa, the risk of getting into a collapse strictly depends on these relationships. Their understanding is especially crucial under critical conditions, namely conditions of over-exploitation of the resources (population overcoming the system carrying capacity) and saturation of the environment (no possibility of migration to other systems with free available resources). In other words, exactly those conditions where we, human beings, are living nowadays.

Based on this, my research streams encompass:

1.     the identification of those factors promoting (or vice versa hindering) a stable equilibrium for a population;

2.     how different management strategies and technologies affect the environment, with focus on the effects on the ecosystem services, and how those effects can eventually backfire;

3.     the use of models to simulate the evolution of a system in the long term and to compare different scenarios;

4.     "behind a curve": curves are function plots, but when a function represents a population, behind the curve there are individuals. What does the behaviour of a specific curve mean for a population? What are the implications in the real world?



I hold two scientific degrees (Mathematics and Natural Sciences) and a PhD in Forest Ecology. The title of my dissertation was: "The application of individual-based models to the analysis of the structure, dynamics and resource optimization in forest ecosystems."

Currently, I have a Post Doc at the Crop Production Ecology Department of SLU  on  modelling the co-evolution of societies and managed ecosystems, under the supervision of Giulia Vico.


Selected publications

• Gargano, F., Tamburino, L. et al. (2017) Migration and conflict in pre-agriculture
human groups: Insights from an operatorial model. In PLoS One, vol. 12(3),
• Tamburino, L. and Bravo, G. (2013) Mice in Wonderforest: Understanding mast
seeding through individual-based modelling. In Ecological Modelling vol. 250(0),
pp 34–44.
• Tamburino, L., La Morgia, V. and Venturino, E. (2012) System dynamic approach
for management of urban parks: a case study. In Computational Ecology and
Software vol. 2; pp 26-41
• Tamburino, L. and Venturino, E. (2012) Public parks management via mathematical
tools. In International Journal of Computer Mathematics vol. 89; pp
• Bravo, G. and Tamburino, L. (2011) Are two resources really better than one?
Some unexpected results of the availability of substitutes. In Journal of Environmental
Management vol. 92, pp 2865-2874