Postdoctoral researcher

+46 86 747 782


Staff profile

Arie Staal’s research focuses on the resilience of tropical forests in the Anthropocene

Profile summary

  • Ecosystem resilience
  • Tipping points
  • Earth system science
  • Forest-climate interactions
  • Ecological modelling
  • Tropical forests and savannas
  • Planetary boundaries

Staal is a postdoctoral researcher within the Earth Resilience in the Anthropocene project. As part of the planetary boundaries group, he researches how land-cover changes and climate change affect the resilience of Earth’s tropical forests. These forests may be “tipping elements” due to the existence of positive (amplifying) feedbacks acting on different scales. One positive feedback occurs when loss of forest cover enhances fire, which in turn reduces forest cover. Another positive feedback involves the regional climate: forest cover increases rainfall, which in turn favours forest cover. To unravel such dynamics, Staal aims to bridge empirical observations with theoretical approaches, which range from simple ecological models to large-scale hydrological simulations.

Staal received his PhD in ecology in 2018 from Wageningen University, the Netherlands. He holds BSc and MSc (cum laude) degrees in environmental science from Utrecht University, the Netherlands. During his MSc studies, he was selected for the Honours Programme of the Netherlands Research School for Socio-Economic and Natural Sciences of the Environment (SENSE), leading to the award of a PhD scholarship “Complex Dynamics in Human-Environment Systems” by SENSE in 2013.

Staal has published more than ten scientific articles, including in Nature Climate Change and Nature Communications. He has also co-authored a certified teaching module for Dutch high school students about the mathematics behind tipping points.

Staal, Arie

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