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Analyzes cooperative processes that shape the natural environment, now and in the geologic past. Emphasizes the development of theoretical models that relate the physical and biological worlds, the comparison of theory to observational data, and associated mathematical methods. Topics include carbon cycle dynamics; ecosystem structure, stability and complexity; mass extinctions; biosphere-geosphere coevolution; and climate change. Employs techniques such as stability analysis; scaling; null model construction; time series and network analysis.