Coupled Human-Environment Systems

This core project explores the dynamics of coupled human-environment systems and the implications of these dynamics for environmental health and sustainability. A coupled human-environment system involves a two-way interaction between human systems and our environment: what humans do influences the environment, but the resulting changes in the environment in turn influence our perceptions and behaviour. Humans and their environment together thus form a single, coupled nonlinear system.  

Professors Chris Bauch and Madhur Anand have been moving this core project forward in 2019 through the initiation of new projects as well as the fruition of existing projects. This work has been spearheaded by their co-supervised graduate students, some of which started in 2018. The core project was also supported by seed funding from the WICI Grant Challenges in 2017-18.

Projects with co-supervised students continued concerning developing new types of early warning signals for tipping points in complex systems; spatial ecosystem mosaic dynamics; human-environment dynamics of forest pest outbreaks; human feedbacks on invasive versus native grasslands; mining social media data for clues about dynamics of climate change; the effects of globalization and interconnectedness on socio-ecological population collapse; and further development of their long-standing collaboration on forest-grassland mosaics. Papers were accepted or published concerning dynamics of coupled forest-harvester populations and early warning signals in complex coupled networks, among other topics.