Photo of Rodrigo Martinez Pena

Rodrigo Martinez Pena

PhD student

My research focuses broadly on developing conceptual approaches to understand complex dynamics of social-ecological systems. My PhD research focuses on applying the mechanism-based approach to social-ecological phenomena, such as regime shifts.


I am currently doing research on understanding the causal relations of coupled social-ecological systems. The analytical approach consists of looking at:

• How the societal and ecological context influences people’s behaviour

• How social interaction has effects on social-ecological interaction

• How social-ecological interactions brings about phenomena such as ecological collapse or governance change

My research is part of Cau-SES, a collaborative project with the SES-Link group at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Hulmholtz Centre for Environmental Research.

I am interested in connecting social-ecological theory and practice in order to promote sustainable and equitable change. I have worked at SwedBio, a science-policy interface, applying social-ecological science to case studies to inform international law on human rights.



Thomas Banitz, Maja Schlüter, Emilie Lindkvist, Sonja Radosavljevic, Lars-Göran Johansson, Petri Ylikoski, Rodrigo Martinez Pena, Volker Grimm (2022) Model-derived causal explanations are inherently constrained by hidden assumptions and context: The example of Baltic cod dynamics Environmental Modelling & Software, Vol. 156, Article 105489 Continue to DOI
Thomas Banitz, Tilman Hertz, Lars-Göran Johansson, Emilie Lindkvist, Rodrigo Martinez Pena, Sonja Radosavljevic, Maja Schluter, Karl Wennberg, Petri Ylikoski, Volker Grimm (2022) Visualization of causation in social-ecological systems Ecology & Society, Vol. 27, Article 31 Continue to DOI