Resilience against climate change

Global warming acts as a formidable external driver for a variety of complex systems. Accordingly, the changing climate introduces a new level of uncertainty and risks in human activities.

We investigate to which extent human-made infrastructures, such as power grids, transport networks and communication systems, are robust and resilient to extreme weather events and natural catastrophes. Accordingly, we devise computational methods to inform policy and decision makers how to act today on such infrastructures for adapting to climate change and reduce the risk of systemic collapse in the next future.
This ambitious research line is new and has been recently funded by the highly prestigious Fondo Italiano per la Scienza of the Italian MUR with 1 million euros; PI: Manlio De Domenico.

We also investigate to which extent the changing climate is going to influence the risk of epidemic outbreaks for vector-borne diseases, with a sepcial focus on the Mediterranean area and diseases such as Zika, Dengue and West Nile.
This research line has been recently funded by the prestigious PRIN Program of the Italian MUR with 250,000 euros; PI: Manlio De Domenico.

Climate change is also a major component of the global decline of biodiversity. We therefore study the stability of ecological communities using the tools from statistical physics, in conjugation with extensive simulations.
Our current focus is twofold. On one hand we study how dispersal mediates stability of connected ecosystems. In such systems, climate change can be a destabilizing factor by decreasing landscape connectivity or by altering local interactions beyond a feasible stability threshold. On the other hand, we focus on how microbial soil community composition is mediated by mobile genetic elements. Such elements can spread quickly through populations and can have long-lasting consequences for the community, e.g. by providing resistance to perturbations such as antibiotics or heavy metals. Our research aims to understand how we could possibly improve the robustness of ecological systems to the pressure of environmental changes.
This research line has been recently funded by the prestigious Human Frontier Science Program with 360,000 euros; Co-PI: Manlio De Domenico.

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Relevant publications

COVID-19 Lockdown Unravels the Complex Interplay between Environmental Conditions and Human Activity
S. Raimondo, B. Benigni, M. De Domenico, Complexity 2022, 5677568 (2022)
Abstract »   Read »   BibTeX

Multiplex social ecological network analysis reveals how social changes affect community robustness more than resource depletion
J.A. Baggio, S.B. BurnSilver, A. Arenas, J.S. Magdanzd, G.P. Kofinasd, M. De Domenico, PNAS 113, 13708 (2016)
Abstract »   Read »   BibTeX

Click here for all publications related to robustness and critical phenomena.
Click here for all publications related to epidemics spreading.
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