Professor in theoretical marine ecology at AQUA, DTU. Deputy chair in the Centre for Ocean Life.

My mission is to simulate global ecosystems for understanding the past and present, and to inform policy and management about our future

I combine theoretical physics with ecology to make quantitative predictions of ecosystems' structure and function, from bacteria to whales, and use evolutionary theory to understand the diversity of life history strategies

My aspiration is to inspire and educate the next generation of quantitative Earth System ecologists


August 2022: New introduction to the theory behind size-based fish community models as used in the Mizer R package:

June 2021: Talk given at ASLO 2021 about how to scale from simple "first principles" of chemistry, diffusion physics, and geometry to the entire global unicellular plankton ecosystem. Includes discussions on biodiversity at different scales, metabolic modelling of a cell, and emergent temperature scaling. See also the online simulator:

August 2019: Finally out on Princeton University Press: "Fish Ecology, Evolution, and Exploitation". Three introductory videos here:,, and

See archive for older news.


I am currently involved in the courses:

  • 25303 Mathematical biology

  • 25304 Differential equations in biology

  • 25314 Computational Marine Ecological Modelling

  • 25803 Ocean Life Meeting Series

Send me a mail if you are interested in any of these courses.

Research Interests

I want to understand how life in the ocean is organised, why marine organisms look and act the way they do, and how marine ecosystems react to perturbations like fishing, species removals/invasions or climate change. More specifically I work on:

Previously I have worked with sand ripples under surface waves and barchan dunes in deserts.

Student projects:

I have a number of possible student projects available for students related to the impact of fishing and climate change on marine and fresh water ecosystems. The projects ranges from applied projects on specific ecosystems to abstract theoretical topics. Send me an email if you are interested in learning more.

Students and post docs:

  • Daniel Ottmann (post doc)

  • Amalia Papapostolou (PhD student)

  • Berthe Vastenhoud (PhD student; co-supervisor)

  • Daniel van Denderen (post doc)

Former students:

  • Rémy Denechere (PhD student)

  • Camila Maria Serra Pompei (PhD student)

  • Trondúr Kragesteen (PhD student)

  • Subhendu Chakraborty (post doc)

  • Mathilde Cadier (post doc)

  • Rob van Gemert (PhD student)

  • Kasia Kenitz (post doc)

  • Nis Sand Jacobsen, Ph.D. student. With Henrik Gislason.

  • Alexandros Kokkalis, Ph.D. student. With Uffe Thygesen and Anders Nielsen.

  • Julie Sainmont, Ph.D. student. Main supervisor: Andy Visser.

  • Karin Olsson, Ph.D. student. Main supervisor: Henrik Gislason

  • Christina Frisk, Ph.D. student. Co-supervised by Gerd Kraus.

  • Nuria Calduch Verdiel, Ph.D. student. With James Vaupel, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock; and Brian MacKenzie. Thesis: Protecting the larger fish: an ecological, economical and evolutionary analysis using a demographic model.

  • Lai Zhang, Ph.D. student. Thesis: Mathematical model of ecology and evolution

  • Martin Hartvig (aka Martin Pedersen), Ph.D. student. Main supervisor: Per Lundberg, Lund University. Thesis: Food web ecology.

  • Matthieu Gerard, under-graduate student: "Turing structure in a size-structured ecosystem model". Together with Uffe H. Thygesen and Michael Pedersen (MAT, DTU).

Contact information:

Ken Haste Andersen - - +45 35 883399

National Institute of Aquatic Resources, AQUA

Technical University of Denmark

Bygning 202

DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby