We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Ricardo Martínez-García has joined our mission! Starting in December, he will establish a new Young Investigator Group at CASUS. We spoke with Ricardo to learn more about him and his research.

Ricardo, your Young Investigator Group is called “Dynamics of complex living systems”. What exactly is your research about?

My research aims to understand how different components within a living system interact with each other. Imagine different cells within an organism or organisms of different species within an ecosystem. An open question is how those interactions between the different components impact the functioning of the entire system. I study a variety of systems, from microbial communities like in biofilms to water-limited ecosystems like steppes, and my ultimate goal is to understand to which extent these systems might be governed by a common set of principles.

What new direction will your research take now that have joined CASUS?

At CASUS, I’m hoping to leverage its high-performance computational resources and data-analysis capabilities to extend my research to an even larger diversity of systems. I am also eager to establish new collaborations with groups from the different research teams and explore new questions.

When you are not juggling with data – where could we find you in Görlitz: at the Berzdorf lake or listening to a concert in one of Görlitz’ churches?

At the Berzdorf lake. And I can’t wait to go for a run on the riverside in Görlitz – but only as soon as it stops being so cold. I have not run in two different countries the same day before.

Ricardo obtained his PhD in statistical Physics and Complex Systems from the University de les Illes Ballears (Spain). His thesis topic was interdisciplinary including aspects of ecology, physics, and computer sciences. Then he received a Life Science Research Foundation fellowship to complete a postdoc in ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton University (USA), where he investigated the interplay between the ecology, evolution and self-organized multicellularity of microbial communities. Later on Ricardo worked at the South American Institute for Fundamental Research in São Paulo (ICTP- SAIFR) where he became an Assistant Professor in the field of biological physics.