My name is Els Weinans and I just started as a Post-doc in the OPAC group at Eindhoven University. During the next 1.5 years, I will explore uncertainties in the food system, from a complex systems perspective. The food system, like most complex systems, is subject to outside perturbations continuously, the covid-19 crisis being one example. It is of paramount importance that the food system maintains its functioning despite these perturbations. As one definition of resilience is ‘the capacity of a system to withstand and recover from perturbations’, I think that this project nicely fits within the 4TU Centre for Resilience Engineering.
Throughout my studies I have focused on interdisciplinary research. In my PhD at Wageningen University I explored multivariate time series analysis tools to infer the dynamics of complex systems. For instance, I identified the direction of lowest resilience, based on time series of multivariate systems, and I detected causal links in the carbon cycle, based on time series of paleoclimatic data. I believe that all current major societal and scientific challenges (such as creating a healthy, resilient and sustainable food system) require an interdisciplinary approach. I think that the 4TU Centre for Resilience Engineering beautifully combines domain-expertise with complex systems science and I looking forward to be a part of this community.