Ecologist have long recognized the importance of space in describing ecosystem pattens and function such as promoting coexistence where none is otherwise possible. However, most of the studies have hitherto ignored the role of space in describing large-scale ecosystems like tropical savanna and forest. These ecosystems are currently great threat due to ongoing climate change and may tip to an undesirable state, incurring huge economic and ecological losses. In my PhD I will be working at an intersection of mathematical models and empirical data to understand the role of space in describing tropical savanna and forest. In particular, I will be using reaction-diffusion models, originally developed in Physics to understand phases transitions, and remote sensing products to validate these models.