Sugihara is a theoretical ecologist who has performed foundational work in the data analysis of complex systems from fisheries to medicine to finance. He gained renown for developing, with Lord Robert May, methods for forecasting chaotic systems, providing the first example of chaos in nature with the diatom populations at Scripps Pier. He has worked with the major institutions on questions of systemic risk and on detecting early warning signs of critical transitions, including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and The Bank of England. He also worked with fisheries to develop a currently enacted market-based incentive plan for reducing wasteful bycatch and to improve forecasting of wild fish stocks. His current interest in neurobiology and genomics includes collaborations with the Salk Institute for Biological Studies to apply EDM to neurobiology and to problems in gene expression in cancer.