Study level

  • PhD
  • Master of Philosophy
  • Honours
  • Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Matthew Adams
Research Fellow (DECRA)
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science


This project seeks to use mathematical models to detect "alternative stable states" in ecology - a behaviour in which the ecosystem can get "stuck" in one state (e.g. pristine) or another (e.g. irreversibly degraded).

Research activities

  • Code up mathematical models (e.g. ordinary differential equation models in MATLAB).
  • Calibrate models to data.
  • Classify the fitted models as expressing "alternative stable states" or not.


  • New mathematical methods for detecting "alternative stable states" in ecology.
  • Development of expertise in multidisciplinary research, cutting across mathematics, ecology and (possibly) statistics.
  • Write a paper to be published in the scientific literature.

Skills and experience

Excellent skills in coding and analysis of ordinary differential equation models, and an interest in using mathematics to address applied ecology problems.


You may be eligible to apply for a research scholarship.

Explore our research scholarships



Contact the supervisor for more information.