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Staff profile

Juan’s research questions are oriented to understanding critical transitions: from regime shifts in ecological systems to collective action in society

Profile summary

  • Critical transitions
  • Regime shifts
  • Network science
  • Modeling
  • Ecosystem services
  • Cross scale interactions
  • Cascading effects

Juan’s research questions are oriented to understanding critical transitions: from regime shifts in ecological systems, to collective action in society. Currently he is focusing on the idea of cascading effects, or teleconnections, and how a critical transition in an ecosystem in the world can increase or decrease the likelihood of another ecosystem tipping over. He is developing mathematical models to explore the parameter space at which these transitions could be plausible (at Princeton University). He is also looking for empirical signatures of cascading effects on trade networks (at Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and rainfall transport dynamics (at Stockholm University). Juan is also interested in methods for identifying resilience surrogates, or good observables that can tell you how resilient a system is; as well as misperception of feedbacks and their consequences (e.g. poor governance strategies, conflicts, poverty & rigidity traps or market failures). He finds inspiration in complex systems science, and the use of mathematical models, networks and other computational methods to understand social and ecological complexity.

Juan earned his PhD in Sustainability Science from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, where he wrote a thesis assessing global patterns of regime shifts. Juan is an ecologist by training, and before joining SRC he worked as researcher at the Center for Development Studies at Los Andes University, the Department of Rural Studies at Javeriana University, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Colombia.

Juan is currently postdoctoral researcher also affiliated to the Beijer Institute at the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University, and the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Juan is an active member of the Beijer Young Scholars, the Resilience Alliance Young Scholars, the Complex Systems Society, and the South America Institute for Resilience and Sustainability Studies (SARAS2).

Juan is also involved in outreach science initiatives, such as the Regime Shifts Database, where he has been main contributor of scientific synthesis intended for policy makers and the general audience. He is also interested on developing data explorers that facilitate the communication of scientific knowledge to the non-scientific audience. Juan is an avid climber and runner.

Awards and achievements:

  • Formas research grant on cascading effects of regime shifts, 2015
  • Early career travel award PlosONE, 2015
  • Travel grant by Complex System Society, 2012, 2013
  • Travel grant by Swedish Secretariat of Environmental and Earth System Sciences, 2012
  • Mention of excellence for BSc thesis – Javeriana University, 2006

Celinda Palm, MSc candidate

Rocha, Juan-Carlos

Publications by Rocha, Juan-Carlos

Rocha, Juan-Carlos

Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Stockholm Resilience Centre
Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B
Phone: +46 8 674 70 70

Organisation number: 202100-3062
VAT No: SE202100306201