Pedro Carrasco De La Cruz

portrait

I am a ecosystem modeler with strong roots in Biological Sciences and Oceanography. I graduated in 2011 from a BSc. in Biology at the Pedro Ruiz Gallo National University in Peru. I specialized in Fisheries research which lead me to work for 4 years at IMARPE (Instituto del Mar del Peru), being part of the Small Pelagic Research Department and the Monitoring Program "Bitacoras de Pesca".

In 2016 I got a scholarship by the VLIR-UOS Belgian organization to study a MSc. in Marine and Lacustrine Sciences and Management. This is an Interuniversity study program which combines research expertise on aquatic ecosystem from three of the best Belgian universities: Vrije University Brussels (VUB), Ghent University and University of Antwerp. During my studies I got involved for the first time in the world of models and in the analysis of big data sets of environmental and biological variables.

In 2019 I joined the Nippon-Foundation Centre of Excellence at the Alfred Wegener Institute-Helgoland in Germany to undertake a training in Observational Oceanography. Here I got the chance to get hands-on data and learn new methods to analyze time series and new approaches to model marine ecosystems.

Currently, I am conducting my PhD research at the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Biodiversity using Networks methods to unveil the intricate stories of Biodiversity in coastal and marine ecosystems. My focus is on theoretical ecology, spatial variability, and functional diversity.

Research

During my Master studies I worked with researchers of the NIOZ Institute and the Wageningen University & Research in the development and implementation of an ecosystem model of the Eastern Scheldt, a subbranch of the Scheldt estuary which has transformed into a tidal bay. The project became my master thesis and it was published as part of bigger project in 2020 [1]. The NPDZ approach used in the model, represented well the variability of the phytoplankton both temporally and spatially and revealed the imminent danger of overgrazing in the basin [1].

In 2019 I participated of the first International Conference for Young Marine Researchers (ICYMARE) in Germany, for which I wrote a review on the current knowledge status of coastal and marine ecosystem services [2]. In this review I highlight the most important advances, issues, and opportunities that the scientific literature has accumulated over almost 20 years, since the mainstreaming of the term ecosystem services by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in 2005.

Interests

I am interested in marine ecosystems' ecological complexity. My research goal is to understand how complexity contributes to biodiversity generation and stability of ecosystem functions. Network analysis and mechanistic modelling are methods used on my research.