Almut Brunner

From Santa Fe Institute Events Wiki

Dear all,

my name is Almut and I’m a PhD student in my final year at the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn in Germany. My research interests include environmental modeling, scaling theories, soil degradation and the integration of physical, bio-economical and social models.

For my PhD thesis, I have been working for some years in Burkina Faso, where I tried to quantify siltation of small dams and to assess soil erosion at hillslope and catchment scale. During my field work, I analyzed a wide range of environmental components influencing soil degradation, such as climatic, hydrologic, pedogeomorphologic and social-cultural parameters by technical equipment or by socio-economical and participative methods (see photo).

However, as longer as I am dealing with complex systems, as more I realize that although it is possible to determine the driving variables of a system in a reductionistic way, it is not possible to capture the interaction and non-linear dynamics between them by current scientific models/tools. Therefore, I would like to look at the interrelated dynamics of environmental/social systems in a more holistic ways and I am very glad to learn and discuss more about complexity in the interdisciplinary summer school at Santa Fe.

Besides work and extended traveling to Africa, Asia and Europe, I love sports (swimming, tap dance, salsa, basketball) and I used to play piano and tenor saxophone (which is unfortunately to heavy to bring along).

I am looking forward meeting you all very soon in Santa Fe.

Please feel free to contact me at