TeachingBase

NetLogo Models

The themes of evolution and sustainability are associated with several learning difficulties, because they are the result of complex interrelationships between organisms and their environments, and evolutionary processes usually take place over larger dimensions of space and time. These processes are far removed from our everyday experience, in which we experience more short-term and direct interactions, and in which we perceive individuals rather than changing populations.

Computer simulations or dynamic models can help to overcome these learning difficulties – similar to telescopes and microscopes, they allow us to see things that are not visible to the “naked eye”. Computer simulations can model processes over larger scales of time and space and are therefore particularly suitable for observing, investigating and understanding ecological relationships, population patterns, and evolutionary processes.

We develop computer simulations around evolution and sustainability with the free modelling software NetLogo.

The presentation on the right gives an introduction to NetLogo and agent-based modelling.

Featured Models

NetLogo: Two Foresters

An interactive introduction into concepts of ecology, behavioral ecology, and sustainability with a computer simulation of a simple social-ecological system.

NetLogo: Two communities

This NetLogo computer model extends the model Two Foresters and introduces a bigger and more complex population structure

NetLogo: Evolution of resource use through behavior imitation

This model adds cultural evolutionary dynamics through behavior imitation to the evolution of resource use behavior. Several imitation biases are simulated: imitating the majority, the minority, the most successful, the most experienced, or the parents. Depending on the imitation bias, rate of behavioral innovation, and the mobility of agents, one can observe the emergence and spread of norms and traditions of sustainable or unsustainable resource use.

NetLogo: Island World

This model simulates the evolution of populations in an environment that is spatially structured. In such a situation, several evolutionary mechanisms operate, including migration, founder effect, multilevel selection.

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