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- Social-ecological interactions
- Agent-based modeling
- Participatory modeling
- Resilience principles
- Ecosystem services
- Freshwater management
- Rangeland management
Romina Martin simulates social-ecological interactions in order to support improvements in regional freshwater management
Martin is passionate about simulation model development and analysis to better understand complex phenomena. This activity, she feels, becomes most meaningful for the purpose of untangling ecological dynamics, which are intertwined with human ingenuity to celebrate a more or less sustainable lifestyle. Her applied methods range from agent-based, system dynamics modeling to diverse participatory approaches.
Since 2013, she has worked with centre associate professor Maja Schlüter, and focuses on the application of resilience principles to analyse case studies and improve their management. This primarily involves the stepwise formalisation of social-ecological interactions and specification of characteristic system patterns, such as regime shifts and bundles of ecosystem services, on multiple levels to investigate them through computational models.
Martin is interested in a variety of modelling tools which enable investigating the dynamics of ecosystems that interlink with human well-being. Towards this aim, Martin develops bioeconomic, agent-based, and system dynamics models and simulates decision-making in the human-environmental interface. Further, she engages in multiple participatory stakeholder activities in order to link generic models closer to empirical grounds.
Martin graduated in computer science and biology and holds a PhD in biology from the University in Cologne, Germany, where she was supervised by Prof. Michael Bonkowski and Dr. Anja Linstädter. The topic of her PhD was pastoral livelihood security and rangeland management in drylands using ecological-economic modelling approaches. The project was conducted in close collaboration with the Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig in the Department of Ecological Modelling, where most of the work was carried out and supervised by Prof. Karin Frank and Dr. Birgit Müller.
Beyond simulating complex features from social-ecological systems, Martin is interested in disentangling and translating these complexities for transdisciplinary activities or environmental education purposes. Along with her PhD, Martin developed a board game on pastoral rangeland management (“NomadSed”) and was involved in analysing and improving an online game on sustainable land management (“LandYous”).
Awards and achievements:
- Best Student Paper Prize: 2nd place for the paper “Which household tolerates droughts? - Strategies to secure pastoral livelihoods”, 2012 at the International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software (iEMSs)
News articles with Martin, Romina
Research news | 2020-01-29
Time is of essence when restoring ecosystems
How social interventions become opportunities for accelerated policy implementation
Research news | 2019-12-30
Case studies, models and complexity
Time to go from simply describing social-ecological systems to explaining how their complex interactions generate observed outcomes
Research news | 2019-12-19
More complex than the sum of its parts
New framework for analysing emergent properties and dynamics in social-ecological systems tested on seven case studies
Publications by Martin, Romina
Keeping modelling notebooks with TRACE: Good for you and good for environmental research and management support
Journal / article | 2021
The acceptance and usefulness of simulation models are often limited by the efficiency, transparency, reproducibility, and reliability of the modelling process. We address these issues by suggesting that modellers (1) “trace” the iterative modelling process by keeping a modelling notebook corresponding to the laboratory notebooks used by empirical researchers, (2) use a standardized notebook structure and terminology based on ...
Short-term decisions in lake restoration have long-term consequences for water quality
Journal / article | 2020
Ecological regime shifts from clear to turbid water states in shallow temperate lakes are quite well-investigated phenomena but critical time lags from human interaction with the lake and restoration activities are much less understood. This is a complex challenge for institutions who manage lakes but are usually less familiar with non-linear dynamics, slow and fast influences on water quality and how to manage those from a so...
The importance of transient social dynamics for restoring ecosystems beyond ecological tipping points
Journal / article | 2020
Managing regime shifts is often associated with “turning back from the brink” assuming that once a system has transgressed a tipping point, it moves unavoidably toward the undesired state. We show that a regime shift is rather a slippery slope that can be managed and even reversed when transient dynamics and time lags in the coupled social-ecological system are taken into account. We constructed an empirically based simulatio...
Toward a methodology for explaining and theorizing about social-ecological phenomena
Journal / article | 2019
Explanations that account for complex causation, emergence, and social-ecological interdependence are necessary for building theories of social-ecological phenomena. Social-ecological systems (SES) research has accumulated rich empirical understanding of SES; however, integration of this knowledge toward contextualized generalizations, or middle-range theories, remains challenging. We discuss the potential of an iterative and ...