SORTEE member voices – Juan Rocha

By SORTEE | June 13, 2022

[SORTEE member voices is a weekly Q&A with a different SORTEE member]

Name: Juan Rocha.

Date: 09 July 2021.

Position: Researcher.

Research and/or work interests: I’m a research scientist at the Stockholm Resilience Centre. My research questions are oriented towards understanding critical transitions: from regime shifts in ecological systems, to collective action in society. Currently I’m focusing on the idea of cascading effects: how a critical transition in an ecosystem in the world can impact the likelihood of other ecosystems tipping over. I develop mathematical models to explore which interconnections are plausible, and look for empirical signatures of cascading effects on trade networks and rainfall transport dynamics. I’m interested in methods for identifying resilience surrogates – good observables that can tell you how resilient a system is – as well as misperception of feedbacks and their consequences. I find inspiration in complex systems science, and the use of mathematical models, networks and other computational methods to understand social and ecological complexity.

What’s an ‘ORT’ subject or practice that you think deserves more attention?
In fields like medicine or psychology there is a wider use of registering studies before people do fieldwork. I’m not sure how often this is done in Ecology overall, but it’s not done often enough in the papers I read. I believe that is a practice that could improve our ways of doing science, and being more honest with things that don’t work and that journals usually are not interested in publishing.    

Where were you born and raised?
Bogotá, Colombia.    

Tell us about one of your hobbies.
I like climbing a lot, I’m not good at it, just like it. It helps me disconnect from work and stuff. When you’re on the wall you need to focus on the details of the here and now, so I reach almost a meditative state where nothing else matters. When I go to conferences I often pack my climbing shoes and visit the local gyms. Sure enough, there is always someone from the conference there too.    

Where to find you online?: