Social-Ecological Systems Lab

We are a research group dedicated to exploring the structure, functioning and development of socio-ecological systems (humans in nature) from a systemic and transdisciplinary perspective, to address sustainability problems within the framework of the current Global Change process.

Our specific area of research covers a wide range of topics on the border between nature, culture and society, framed in the so-called Science of Sustainability. From integrative disciplines such as Ecological Economics, Political Ecology, Systems Ecology, Cultural Anthropology or Conservation Ecology, we seek to develop strategies and conceptual frameworks that contribute to the transition towards socioecological sustainability.

To do this, we use methodological tools such as the evaluation of natural capital and ecosystem services, the characterization of functional diversity, the analysis and management of socio-ecological resilience, the analysis of ecological-distributive conflicts, the analysis of scenarios (eco-futures), or integrated planning and management of the territory, among others.

With our work, we aim to contribute to breaking down barriers and building bridges between biophysical sciences and social sciences, as well as between researchers and decision-makers, to develop adaptive capacities in the current context of Global Change.

The Mediterranean and Latin America are currently our main geographical areas of work.


Contribute as a transdisciplinary human team to the construction and dissemination of scientific knowledge, academic training, critical thinking and the proposal of action tools that, as a whole, facilitate a change towards socio-ecological sustainability, under the paradigm of Sustainability Sciences.


As a society we embark on a path of change towards socio-ecological sustainability, accepting the limits of our planet and assuming that our well-being depends on the integrity of ecosystems and biodiversity.

Our goals

  • Building knowledge

    Investigate the existing relationships between nature and society from complex thinking and the metaphor of resilience to address current problems of (un)sustainability in the Anthropocene

  • Awakening talents

    Implement training proposals - formal and non-formal - that, within the framework of Sustainability Sciences, allow us to strengthen the capacities with which we face future challenges in pursuit of sustainability.

  • Transforming learning

    Investigate practices in communication, education and participation (CEPA) that allow progress on the path of sustainability, using them as tools for social and environmental transformation.

  • Shaking consciences

    Communicate and disseminate existing knowledge to generate a change in values, attitudes and social behaviors in relation to socio-environmental problems and possible interventions.

  • Acting for change

    Promote commitment and social action through cooperation, empowerment in decision-making and links with social movements and the media.

  • Weaving networks

    Build bridges between local actors, managers, technicians, politicians and scientists, in order to provide support and guide decision making considering technical and local knowledge.

  • Tangling actions

    Establish collaboration networks with other research groups and, in general, with all key actors in society.

  • Walking with heart

    Promote reflection and critical thinking based on the dialogue of knowledge and the emotion-reason interface.

Our principles and values

  • Socio-ecological ethics, based on respect for the biophysical limits of the planet and the search for social, intra- and intergenerational justice and gender equity.
  • Cooperation, solidarity and strong social commitment.
  • Integrity, coherence, trust and transparency in the actions and decisions of team members.
  • Innovation and critical thinking.
  • Rigor and creativity.

Find out who is part of the Lab