Shnerb research group, physics of complex systems

Nadav Shnerb

Welcome to Shnerb research group!

The research in our group involves a theoretical understanding of some fundamental aspects in the dynamics of complex systems. Our group makes use of non-linear dynamics and statistical physics techniques to investigate the behavior of a wide variety of complex systems, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary applications, most of them in the field of life science.


Among the topics we are interested in are:

  • Characterization and statistics of fluctuations in complex systems.
  • Predator-prey dynamics on spatial domains.
  • The conditions under which species richness is maintained in a community of  many competing species.
  • Vegetation patterns and the process of desertification.
  • A statistical analysis of genetic diversity and its relations to population dynamics.
  • Epidemic dynamics in systems with spatial structure and networks.

Many of our projects are data-oriented, driven by the fascinating patterns one may find in nature. Other aspects of our work are related to more abstract questions that have to do with the theoretical foundations of the field:


  • The semi-deterministic limit and the reliability of a deterministic analysis for stochastic systems.
  •  Neutral (noise driven) theories of community dynamics.
  • Noise induced stabilization.
  • Synchronization of diffusively-coupled oscillations.
  •  Phase transition in the presence of an absorbing state.
  •  Glassy states and Turing instability.

Beside the standard list of our group’s publications and the people involved, you can find here also two popular science articles that cover some of the main directions of our work, with a few amusing examples. One is about the role of luck in life and life-science (a hint – it is quite useful to be lucky). If you like to learn about the dynamics of first and last names, and the intricate connection between species composition in the tropical forest and the identity of the Messiah – click here!