Michael E. Hochberg is Research Director with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and based at the University of Montpellier, France. He uses mathematical models and experiments to unravel complex ecological interactions and their evolution at scales from cells to societies. His main line of research seeks to understand how environments influence diseases, particularly those associated with bacteria and viruses, and cancers. Although most of his work is fundamental science, he has a keen interest in applications and has published widely on phage therapy and novel approaches to cancer therapy. Michael has associate positions at the Santa Fe Institute and at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, and headed a focus group at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin from which a theme issue at Phil Trans on comparative oncology was published in 2015. He is currently completing a book on writing and publishing scientific articles, based on his experience as Editor in Chief of the journal Ecology Letters, and will soon be embarking on a new book project on complexity in sustainable systems.