Dr Andreas Kubicek

AK_color My research focus is on ecosystem functions, processes and relationships in coral reef communities. Reef systems feature complex interaction structures among associated organisms, often causing non-linear responses to change which are hard to trace with traditional ecological methods, alone. I use spatially explicit, individual based modelling to integrate current knowledge and simulate benthic coral reef communities under the influence of various sources of environmental change, such as ever increasing carbon dioxide concentrations and temperatures, as well as frequencies and intensities of extreme events (e.g. hurricanes). Model outcomes shall complement ongoing science on coral reef functioning, help to identify gaps, and aid to scrutinize potential management plans and actions in globally changing environments.


The simulation of small-scale processes allows the analysis of ecosystem responses to environmental change. Colonies of two massive (polygons) and two branching (stars) coral species compete for space with each other and algae (macroalgae as green spots; turf algae as grid). Higher level properties, such as population dynamics and community composition, emerge from local interactions of neighboring organisms, which are additionally influenced by environmental conditions.


Kubicek A, Reuter H (2016) Mechanics of multiple feedbacks in benthic coral reef communities. Ecological Modelling 329, 29–40

Kubicek A, Jopp F, Breckling B, Lange C, Reuter H (2015), Context-oriented model validation of individual-based models in ecology: A hierarchically structured approach to validate qualitative, compositional and quantitative characteristics. Ecological Complexity 22, 178-191

Kubicek A, Muhando C, Reuter H (2012) Simulations of long-term community dynamics in coral reefs how perturbations shape trajectories. PLoS Computational Biology. 8(11): e1002791. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002791

Kubicek A and Borell E (2011) Modelling resilience and phase shifts in coral reefs: application of different modeling approaches. In: Modelling Complex Ecological Dynamics. Jopp F, Reuter H, Breckling B (Eds.) Springer, New York, Berlin, Chapter 17.

Kubicek A, Bessho K, Nakaoka M, Wahl M and Lenz M (2011) Inducible defence and its modulation by environmental stress in the red alga Chondrus yendoi (Yamada and Mikami in Mikami, 1965) from Honshu Island, Japan. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 397(2): 208213.