Erzsébet Pásztor will be joining SAS in February 2021.

I’m an evolutionary ecologist who is deeply interested in the future of human societies and the conceptual structure of science. Besides biology I have a master’s degree in philosophy, as well. I quest for the joint first principles of ecology and evolutionary biology at present. 

I have various experiences: in field work (nest box studies with automated balances), in modeling life-history evolution and in producing a principle-based synthesis in ecology. I have been working at Eötvös University (Hungary) as a lecturer for 40 years. Over the last two years, I’m also doing research as an associate professor in the evolutionary systems research group at the Centre for Ecological Research, (Hungary). I have worked in teams of various sizes over most of my career.

As a teacher I’m in permanent experimenting with teaching methods. I had a teaching position in the Department of Genetics and Ecology of Aarhus University (Denmark) for a semester (1987) and I worked as a visiting scholar twice in the Institute of Evolutionary and Ecological Sciences at Leiden University (Netherlands) (1996, 1997) for a couple of months. I have practice in organizing international congresses and workshops. I was the head of the scientific program committee of the 4th conference of the European Ornithologists' Union (EOU; Chemnitz, 2003) and secretary of the organizing committee of the 3rd congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB, Debrecen, 1991). I have been active in various NGOs related to environmental problems and academic life within Hungary. 

Erzsébet Pásztor

Research Interests:

My research has been addressed fundamental problems of ecology and evolutionary biology besides planning and analyzing field experiments with great tits breeding in nest-boxes. Questing for an operational concept of adaptation I developed a theoretical framework for modelling density-dependent life-history strategies with Géza Meszéna and Éva Kisdi in the nighties. Having realized that interactions between individuals is the general case I switched to study adaptation in community context.  Our studies of niche theory and the conditions for coexistence resulted in an advanced textbook (Theory-based ecology: A Darwinian approach, OUP 2016). In this book, we provided a systematic and unified discussion of ecological problems in relation to a general dynamical theory of coexistence. The book was written from chapter to chapter by a team of five co-authors. Recently, I apply this coexistence theory to evolutionary problems. Based on current works of historians of science and his original, unpublished texts, I documented that the logical structure of Darwin’s theory is congruent with the logic of modern coexistence theory. Related to this analysis, I’m about to complete my work on formulating the conditions of emergent diversification by competition-driven natural selection.

Key Terms:

  • Evolutionary Ecology
  • Coexistence Theory
  • Speciation
  • Evolutionary Principles 
  • Life-history Optimization 
  • Adaptive Dynamics
  • Description of Complex Dynamic Systems 
  • Population Regulation
  • Evolutionary Adaptations