The Ecology of Human Mobility

Mark G. Meekan, Carlos M. Duarte, Juan Fernández-Gracia, Michele Thums, Ana M. M. Sequeira, Rob Harcourt, Víctor M. Eguíluz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Mobile phones and other geolocated devices have produced unprecedented volumes of data on human movement. Analysis of pooled individual human trajectories using big data approaches has revealed a wealth of emergent features that have ecological parallels in animals across a diverse array of phenomena including commuting, epidemics, the spread of innovations and culture, and collective behaviour. Movement ecology, which explores how animals cope with and optimize variability in resources, has the potential to provide a theoretical framework to aid an understanding of human mobility and its impacts on ecosystems. In turn, big data on human movement can be explored in the context of animal movement ecology to provide solutions for urgent conservation problems and management challenges.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-210
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Ecology & Evolution
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 3 2017

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): 63150414
Acknowledgements: The research reported in this publication was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) through the baseline fund and the Award No. 63150414 from the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science. A.M.M.S. was supported by an IOMRC (AIMS, CSIRO, and UWA) Collaborative Post-doctoral Fellowship, J.F.-G. by NIH grant U54GM088558-06 (Lipsitch) and V.M.E. by Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI) and Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER) through project SPASIMM (FIS2016-80067-P (AEI/FEDER, UE)). We thank Ivan D. Gromicho for the artwork in Figure 1.


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