Center for Computational and Theoretical Biology

Ecosytem Modeling Research

In this course, the student will learn to develop own research project in ecosystem modeling. In the first week, the internship student will define a study question, gather information on the study system, conceive a conceptual model for causal relationships, external drivers and parameters. In the second week onwards, the student will learn to implement the model in a computer language (e.g. in C++, R or Julia), perform a simulation experiment, analyse the simulated results and write down a manuscript presenting the model and findings. The student can also conceive and perform a simulation experiment with models that are already available in our working group. Potential topics for this include: eco-evolutionary dynamics on oceanic islands, spatiotemporal dynamics of vascular epiphytes in the tropics, metacommunity dynamics under influence of multiple environmental change drivers, scaling of extinction and speciation events. This set of skills (conceive, develop and perform simulation experiments) is highly desired in academic, free market, conservation and non-governamental organizational career paths. Predictive dynamic models has gained strong emphasis under current threats to biodiversity, such as climate change, habitat loss, over-exploitation, biological invasions and epidemic outbreaks.

2-4 Weeks for individual students, as a full practical (e.g. Interdisciplicary Workproject II).