Sergei Petrovskii

Professor My photoin Applied Mathematics

I am a mathematician with 25 years of experience in modelling of natural phenomena. For the last 20 years my research has been focused on nonlinear dynamics, dynamical systems' application to ecology and ecological complexity. I published two books (research monographs), a few conference proceedings, and 80+ papers in peer-reviewed journals. I have co-managed several research projects supported by various national and international foundations. I am the Editor-in-Chief of Ecological Complexity. I was a (co)organizer and/or invited speaker for several international conferences.

Research interests

non-equilibrium structures in diffusion-reaction systems:
mechanisms of spatiotemporal self-organization in a system of interacting species, pattern formation and chaos, effects of stochastisity and noise, diffusion-reaction systems on a lattice
nonlinear waves and biological invasion:
travelling population waves, biological/physical factors affecting the wave speed, patterns of species dispersal different from travelling fronts, interplay between different mechanisms of species spread, exactly solvable diffusion-reaction models
ecological complexity:
nonlinear phenomena in population dynamics, bifurcations and chaos, factors enhancing/hampering chaotic dynamics in ecological communities
individual movement and random walk:
models of individual animal movement
ecology & environment:
coupling between biological and environmental processes, interplay between processes acting on different spatial and temporal scales, mathematical modelling of self-organized plankton patterns in turbulent environment


Recent and upcoming conferences

Models in Population Dynamics and Ecology 2014 (Turin, Italy, August 25-29, 2014)

MBI Workshop: Sustainability and Complex Systems (Columbus, Ohio, USA, September 16-20, 2013)

Models in Population Dynamics and Ecology 2013 (Osnabrueck, Germany, August 26-29, 2013)


Some recent publications

1. Tilles, P.F.C, and Petrovskii, S.V. (2015) Statistical mechanics of animal movement: Animals's decision-making can result in superdiffusive spread. Ecological Complexity 22, 86-92.

2. Petrovskii, S.V., Petrovskaya, N.B., and Bearup, D. (2014) Multiscale approach to pest insect monitoring: Random walks, pattern formation, synchronization, and networks. Physics of Life Reviews 11, 467-525.

3. Bearup, D., Petrovskii, S.V., Blackshaw, R., and Hastings, A. (2013) The impact of terrain and weather conditions on the metapopulation of Tipula paludosa in South-Western Scotland: linking pattern to process. American Naturalist 182, 393-409.

4. Kawai, R., and Petrovskii, S.V. (2012) Multiscale properties of random walk models of animal movement: Lessons from statistical inference. Proceedings of Royal Society A 468, 1428-1451.

5. Petrovskii, S.V., and Petrovskaya, N.B. (2012) Computational ecology as an emerging science. Interface Focus 2, 241-254.

6. Jansen, V.A.A., Mashanova, A., Petrovskii, S.V. (2012) Why mussels do not do a Levy walk: Comments on "Levy walks evolve through interaction between movement and environmental complexity." Science 335, 918.

7. Petrovskii, S.V., Mashanova, A., and Jansen, V.A.A. (2011) Variation in individual walking behavior creates the impression of a Levy flight. PNAS 108, 8704-8707.

8. Petrovskii, S.V. and Morozov, A.Y. (2009) Dispersal in a statistically structured population: Fat tails revisited. American Naturalist 173, 278-289. (Online enhancement)

9. Volpert, V., and Petrovskii, S.V. (2009) Reaction-diffusion waves in biology. Physics of Life Reviews 6, 267–310.


For an extended list of publications, please use the link here (or just use the "More Publications" button in the top left corner of the page).


For a citation report, see my Google Scholar profile.


For a broader view of the mathematical ecology research in Leicester please visit the Mathematical Ecology Group page. See also our Mathematical Ecology Seminar web page: Midlands MESS.


Contact details

Department of Mathematics, University of Leicester

University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 116 252 3916

Fax: +44 116 252 3915


Last updated: March 15, 2015

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Contact details

Department of Mathematics
University of Leicester
University Road
Leicester LE1 7RH
United Kingdom

Tel.: +44 (0)116 252 3917
Fax: +44 (0)116 252 3915

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