How to approach complexity in environmental sciences: an agent-based simulation of the environment in the North-Eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (China).

Main Supervisor:

Mattia Mancini

Geography, KCL

Second Supervisor:

James Millington

Geography, KCL

How to approach complexity in environmental sciences: an agent-based simulation of the environment in the North-Eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (China).

This project is part of a wider NERC funded study focused on the pastoralist systems in North-Eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau aiming to understand through computer simulation the reciprocal interactions between the environment and human behaviour.

Within 10 weeks, the successful REP candidate will utilize a recently generated agent-based simulation model of grazing yaks on a high-altitude pasture to: 1) validate it against the available environmental data; 2) identify and include in the model missing key processes; 3) analyse the improved model to discover patterns emerging from the interactions between climate, grassland and livestock.

Doing so, the student will learn: 1) the principles of agent-based simulation models (ABMs) and why/when ABMs are useful; 2) how to avoid over-inclusiveness maintaining representativeness in ABMs; 3) how to describe and interpret the results of ABMs; 4) real vs simulated data: when to use which; 5) the basics of coding ABMs with the software NetLogo.


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