Dr. Marco Scotti

Principal Investigator of the Ecosystem Modelling Working Group

Room: 1.402
Phone: +49 431 600 2037
E-Mail: mscotti(at)geomar.de  

GEOMAR | Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel
Wischhofstr. 1-3
D-24148 Kiel / Germany

Twitter: https://twitter.com/marcoscotti78
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0775-6148
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=hIEY4wUAAAAJ&hl
Working group webpage: https://www.geomar.de/en/researchgroup-mscotti

Academic appointments

2020-present Principal Investigator of the Ecosystem Modelling Working Group. Marine Evolutionary Ecology Research Unit, Marine Ecology Research Division, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

2018-2020 Research Scientist. Ocean EcoSystems Biology Research Unit, Marine Ecology Research Division, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

2014-2018 Research Scientist. Experimental Ecology – Food Webs Research Unit, Marine Ecology Research Division, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

2011-2014 Principal Investigator of the Network Analysis Working Group. The Microsoft Research – University of Trento Centre for Computational and Systems Biology (COSBI), Rovereto, Italy

2010-2011 Junior Researcher. The Microsoft Research – University of Trento Centre for Computational and Systems Biology (COSBI), Trento, Italy

2008-2009 Postdoctoral Fellow. Center for Network Science (CNS), Central European University (CAU), Budapest, Hungary

2006 Guest of the Rector. Collegium Budapest, Institute for Advanced Study, Budapest, Hungary

Working Group 'Ecosystem Modelling'

Education and titles

2018 Italian Scientific Habilitation (ASN) as Associate Professor in Ecology
2008 Ph.D. in Ecology. University of Parma, Italy
2004 M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences. University of Parma, Italy

Scientific Interest

The focus of my research is on ecosystem and community ecology. Broad evidence exists about the positive relationship linking biodiversity to ecosystem functioning. There is therefore pressing need of understanding how the multiple stress factors that threaten species diversity may alter the functioning of marine ecosystems. In my studies, network models and simulations help quantifying the impact that ocean warming, overfishing, biological invasion and eutrophication have on food web stability and ecosystem productivity. Model construction relies both on data from mesocosms and public datasets. The models portray carbon circulation in experimental ecosystems and predict the response of trophic groups to alternative management scenarios in various basins, such as the western Baltic Sea and the southern North Sea.

My work aims at generating knowledge that may support decision makers in ecosystem management. This effort includes (1) the experimental testing of ecosystem indicators that are effective to quantify deviations from the good environmental status, (2) the identification of ecosystem-based reference points for setting limits to fish extraction, and (3) the creation of novel tools for modelling social-ecological systems (e.g. to summarize synergies and tradeoffs among ecosystem services).

Specific research areas:

  • Food web ecology and trophic interactions
  • Ecosystem-based fisheries management
  • Consequences of global warming on blue carbon
  • Ecological network analysis
  • Qualitative models of social-ecological systems

Awards and fellowships

2010 Young Researcher Prize. Italian Society of Ecology (SItE). September 29, 2010. Roma, Italy

2007 Roberto Marchetti Prize. Italian Society of Ecology (SItE). September 20, 2007. Ancona, Italy

2005 Ph.D. Scholarship. Italian Ministry of University and Research

External funding

2021-2025 EcoScope – Ecocentric management for sustainable fisheries and healthy marine ecosystems (H2020, EU)

2021-2024 iSeal – Trans- and interdisciplinary social-ecological network analysis based on long-term monitoring, experimental data and stakeholders’ assessment (DAM, BMBF)

2021-2024 SpaCeParti – Coastal fishery, biodiversity, spatial use and climate change: a participative approach to navigate the western Baltic Sea into a sustainable future (DAM, BMBF)

2021-2024 AWZFISCH – Ökosystemgerechtes Fischereimanagement in der deutschen AWZ (Ecosystem-based fisheries management in the German EEZ) (BfN)

2020-2024 balt_ADAPT – Adaptation of the western Baltic coastal fishery to climate change (FONA, BMBF)

2016-2021 DECISIVE – A DECentralIzed management Scheme for Innovative Valorization of urban biowastE (H2020, EU)

2011-2012 Service agreement between The Microsoft Research – University of Trento Centre for Computational and Systems Biology and Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences


2020-2022 Member of the Ecological Society of America

2016-2018 Member of the Cluster of Excellence “Future Ocean”

Editorial activity

2023. Guest Associate Editor of Frontiers in Marine Science

2018-present Associate Editor of Food Webs

2015-present Editor of Community Ecology

2012 Guest Editor for a Special Issue of Ecological Modelling (“Ecological hierarchy – from the genes to the biosphere”)

2012 Vedres, B., Scotti, M. (Eds.), 2012. Networks in Social Policy Problems. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge


2022-present Member of the ICES/HELCOM Working Group on Integrated Assessments of the Baltic Sea (WGIAB)

2022 External reviewer for biodiversa+, EU

2022 Reviewer for the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund, Hungary

2021-present National expert in the HELCOM Correspondence Group on Food webs

2020 Reviewer for the South Africa’s National Research Foundation

2019 Reviewer for the Academia Sinica, Taiwan

2018 Reviewer for NERC grant proposals (UK)

2016 Reviewer of Ph.D. thesis. University of Pisa, Italy

2014-2015 Program Committee Member. International Symposium on Modelling and Knowledge Management applications: Systems and Domains (MoKMaSD)

2013 Reviewer. International Symposium on Modelling and Knowledge Management for Sustainable Development (MoKMaSD). Madrid, Spain

2012-2016 Member in the Commission of the International Doctoral School in Biomolecular Sciences of the University of Trento, Italy

2012 Reviewer. IEEE International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedicine (BIBM). Philadelphia, USA

2012 Reviewer. Symposium on Applied Computing (SAC ACM). Riva del Garda, Italy

2011 Reviewer. European Conference on Complex Systems (ECCS). Vienna, Austria

2011 Organizing Committee Member. European Conference on Ecological Modelling (ECEM). Riva del Garda, Italy

2009 Conference Organizer. The Unexpected Link – Using network science to tackle social problems. Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

2007-present Reviewer for 25 ISI journals (including Nature Communications, PNAS, Ecology Letters and Ecosystems)

2007 Reviewer. European Conference on Ecological Modelling (ECEM). Trieste, Italy

Selected publications

Bodini, A., Pereira, D., Scotti, M., 2024. The decline of kilkas, sturgeons and seals in the Caspian Sea: The potential of qualitative loop analysis for the cumulative assessment of multiple drivers of stress. Marine Pollution Bulletin 200, 116091. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2024.116091

MacNeil, L., Joly, L.J., Ito, M., Steinmann, A., Mehler, K., Scotti, M., 2024. Sizing mudsnails: Applying superpixels to scale growth detection under ocean warming. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 15, 544-554. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.14295

Scotti, M., Opitz, S., MacNeil, L., Kreutle, A., Pusch, C., Froese, R., 2022. Ecosystem-based fisheries management increases catch and carbon sequestration through recovery of exploited stocks: The western Baltic Sea case study. Frontiers in Marine Science 9, 879998. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2022.879998

Froese, R., Papaioannou, E., Scotti, M., 2022. Climate change or mismanagement? Environmental Biology of Fishes 105, 1363-1380. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10641-021-01209-1

Niquil, N., Scotti, M., Fofack-Garcia, R., Haraldsson, M., Thermes, M., Raoux, A., Loc'h, L., Mazé, C., 2021. The merits of loop analysis for the qualitative modeling of social-ecological systems in presence of offshore wind farms. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 9, 35. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2021.635798

Ito, M., Scotti, M., Franz, M., Barboza, F.R., Buchholz, B., Zimmer, M., Guy-Haim, T., Wahl, M., 2019. Effects of temperature on carbon circulation in macroalgal food webs are mediated by herbivores. Marine Biology 166, 158. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-019-3596-z

Kluger, L.C., Scotti, M., Vivar, I., Wolff, M., 2019. Specialization of fishers leads to greater impact of external disturbance: evidence from a social-ecological network modelling exercise for Sechura Bay, northern Peru. Ocean & Coastal Management 179, 104861. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2019.104861

Olmo Gilabert, R., Navia, A.F., De La Cruz-Agüero, G., Molinero, J.C., Sommer, U., Scotti, M., 2019. Body size and mobility explain species centralities in the Gulf of California food web. Community Ecology 20, 149-160. https://doi.org/10.1556/168.2019.20.2.5

Pansch, C., Scotti, M., Barboza, F.R., Al‐Janabi, B., Brakel, J., Briski, E., Bucholz, B., Franz, M., Ito, M., Paiva, F., Saha, M., Sawall, Y., Weinberger, F., Wahl, M., 2018. Heat waves and their significance for a temperate benthic community: a near‐natural experimental approach. Global Change Biology 24, 4357-4367. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14282

Bodini, A., Rocchi, M., Scotti, M., 2018. Insights into the ecology of the Black Sea through the qualitative loop analysis of the community structure. Limnology and Oceanography 63, 968-984. https://doi.org/10.1002/lno.10713

Scotti, M., Ciocchetta, F., Jordán, F., 2013. Social and landscape effects on food webs: a multi-level network simulation model. Journal of Complex Networks 1, 160-182. https://doi.org/10.1093/comnet/cnt013

Scotti, M., Bondavalli, C., Bodini, A., Allesina, S., 2009. Using trophic hierarchy to understand food web structure. Oikos 118, 1695-1702. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0706.2009.17073.x

Invited Talks (selection)

2023-09-20 Ecosystem-based fisheries management restores biodiversity and catch of commercial stocks in the western Baltic Sea. 6th International Conference on Progress in Marine Conservation 2023. Stralsund, Germany.

2021-06-09 Ecological limits to the exploitation of species: the case study of the southern North Sea. Meeresumwelt-Symposium 2021 – BSH. Online event.

2019-06-05 Ocean warming supports the spread of Mnemiopsis leidyi after invasion. BOREA - Biologie des ORganismes et Ecosystèmes Aquatiques, Normandie Université. Caen, France

2019-04-24 Qualitative assessment of human impacts on Black Sea ecosystem. Fresh Blood for Fresh Water Conference. Tihany, Hungary. Keynote speaker

2017-09-14 Phenology-mediated changes in the structure of a benthic food web. YOUMARES - Conference for Young Marine Researchers. Kiel, Germany

2015-04-28 Ecological Network Analysis (ENA) for assessing the security and sustainability of human systems. Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Roskilde, Denmark

2014-03-11 The use of food web analysis for estimating the functional importance of species. SIDEER Symposium, Sede Boqer Campus of Ben Gurion University, Israel. Keynote speaker

2013-11-13 Social and landscape effects on food webs: a multi-level network simulation model. The Symposium Food Webs: Science for Impact, Schloss Rauischholzhausen (University of Giessen), Germany

2013-09-18 Network science as the key for understanding complex problems at different spatial scales. Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan

2013-07-28 Not only panda. The importance of species in ecosystems. Opening Ceremony of MuSe (Science Museum), Trento, Italy

2007-06-01 The higher the better? Linking trophic position and flow structure constraints in ecological networks. Department of Plant Taxonomy and Ecology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary

2006-11-23 Detecting ecosystem stress and tracing the sustainability of human settlements. A whole-system approach using network analysis. Collegium Budapest, Institute for Advanced Study, Budapest, Hungary