Sergei Petrovskii

Professor My photoin Applied Mathematics

Department of Mathematics
University of Leicester
University Road
Leicester, LE1 7RH

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3916

Fax: +44 (0)116 252 3915


Personal details

I am a mathematician with 30 years of experience in modelling of natural phenomena. For the last 25 years, my research has been focused on nonlinear dynamics, dynamical systems' application to ecology and ecological complexity.

I have published four books and more than 130 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

I have co-managed several research projects supported by various national and international foundations. Presently, I am a member of the Project Coordination Team (NERC) for the landscape & land use research.

I am the Editor-in-Chief of Ecological Complexity. I am also the Section Editor-in-Chief (Theoretical and Mathematical Ecology) of Mathematics. I have been a co-organiser and/or invited speaker at around 20 international conferences. Presently, I am on the Scientific Committee of EcoSummit 2020 (due to the coronavirus epidemic rescheduled to June 2021). I am the founder and the scientific coordinator of the MPDE conference series.



Lewis, M.A., Petrovskii, S.V., and Potts, J. (2016) The Mathematics Behind Biological Invasions. Springer, Interdisciplinary Applied Mathematics 44, 362p. Full text can be downloaded here

Lewis, M.A., Maini, P.K., Petrovskii, S.V., Eds. (2013) Dispersal, Individual Movement and Spatial Ecology: A Mathematical Perspective. Springer, Lecture Notes in Mathematics Vol. 2071, 385p.  See the Preface and the Table of Contents.

Malchow, H., Petrovskii, S.V., Venturino, E. (2008) Spatiotemporal Patterns in Ecology and Epidemiology: Theory, Models, Simulations. Chapman & Hall / CRC Press, 443p. Full text can be downloaded here: pages i-196, pages 197-443.

Petrovskii, S.V., Li, B.-L. (2006) Exactly Solvable Models of Biological Invasion. Chapman & Hall / CRC Press, 217p.  Full text can be downloaded here: pages 1-217.

Selected papers

Morozov, A., Abbott, K.C., Cuddington, K., Francis, T., Gellner, G., Hastings, A., Lai, Y.C., Petrovskii, S.V., Scranton, K., Zeeman M.L. (2020) Long transients in ecology: Theory and applications. Physics of Life Reviews 32, 1-40.

Ellis, J., Petrovskaya, N., Forbes, E., Walters, K.F.A., Petrovskii, S. (2020) Movement patterns of the grey field slug (Deroceras reticulatum) in an arable field. Scientific Reports 10 (1), 1-16.

Volpert, V., Banerjee, M., Petrovskii, S. (2020) On a quarantine model of coronavirus infection and data analysis. Math. Model. Nat. Phenom. 15, 24.

Morozov, A., Petrovskii, S.V., and Gavrilets, S. (2019) Dynamics of social protests: Case study of the Yellow Vest Movement. SocArXiv, 30 May 2019,

Ellis, J., Petrovskaya, N., and Petrovskii, S.V. (2019) Effect of density-dependent individual movement on emerging spatial population distribution: Brownian motion vs Levy flights. J. Theor. Biol. 464, 159-178.

Hastings, A., Abbott, K.C., Cuddington, K., Francis, T., Gellner, G., Lai, Y.C., Morozov, A., Petrovskii, S.V., Scranton, K., and Zeeman, M.L. (2018) Transient phenomena in ecology. Science 361, eaat6412.

Tilles, P.F.C., Petrovskii, S.V., and Natti, P.L. (2017) A random acceleration model of individual animal movement allowing for diffusive, superdiffusive and superballistic regimes. Scientific Reports 7, 14364.

Petrovskii S.V., Sekerci Y., and Venturino, E. (2017) Regime shifts and ecological catastrophes in a model of plankton-oxygen dynamics under the climate change. J. Theor. Biol. 424, 91–109.

Petrovskaya N.B, and Petrovskii S.V. (2017) Catching ghosts with a coarse net: use and abuse of spatial sampling data in detecting synchronization. J. R. Soc. Interface 14, 20160855.

Sekerci, Y., and Petrovskii, S.V. (2015) Mathematical modelling of plankton-oxygen dynamics under the climate change. Bull. Math. Biol. 77, 2325-2353.

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.

For a full publication list:

Also see here a full publication list structured according to the subjects

For a broader view of the mathematical ecology research in Leicester:

For an overview of the research across the Department of Mathematics as a whole,


  • diffusion-reaction models of population dynamics:
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 and 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

Media coverage

  • My recent research on the effect of global warming on atmospheric oxygen was favourably covered by the media, e.g. see the article in The Mirror and listen to the radio interview online.
  • For a press release on my recent research on ecological transients and their possible role in mass extinctions see the article in Newsweek.
  • For a press release on my recent results on individual animal movement click here.
  • Public lecture at NIMBioS on regimes of biological invasion (November 8, 2016) - see the video here.
  • Public lecture at BIRS on long transients in ecology (August 1, 2019) - see the video here.

Conferences, workshops, working groups

Banff Workshop: New Mathematical Methods for Complex Systems in Ecology (Banff, Canada, July 29 - August 2, 2019)

Computational and Mathematical Population Dynamics 5 (Florida, USA, May 19-24, 2019)

Models in Population Dynamics, Ecology, and Evolution - MPDEE-18 (Leicester, April 9-13, 2018)

NIMBioS Working Group: Long Transients and Ecological Forecasting (Knoxville, USA, 2017-19)

VI Southern Summer School on Mathematical Biology (Sao Paulo, Brazil, January 16-27, 2017).

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

Tel.: +44 (0)116 229 7407

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