Research focuses on the coupled dynamics of human and natural systems, specifically in the context of forest dynamics. I utilize a variety of modeling and analysis techniques, including agent-based modeling, cellular automata, machine learning and various spatial statistics and GIS-related methods. I am currently involved in projects that investigate the anthropogenic and biological drivers behind native and invasive forest pathogens and insects.
I have developed several agent-based and cellular automata applications combining agent-based modelling, geographical information systems and visualisation to understand the complex mechanisms of decision making in land use change and environmental stewardship in order to analyse:
• the role of pastoral agriculture in regional development,
• the tradeoffs between land use intensification and water quality,
• the adoption of land-based climate change mitigation practices, and
• the incorporation of cultural values into spatial futures or scenario modelling.
My broad research interests are in human-environmental interactions and land-use change. Specifically, I am interested in how people make land-use decisions, how those decisions modify the functioning of natural systems, and how those modifications feedback on human well-being, livelihoods, and subsequent land-use decisions. All of my research begins with a complex systems background with the aim of understanding the dynamics of human-environment interactions and their consequences for environmental and economic sustainability. Agent-based modeling is my primary tool of choice to understand human-environment interactions, but I also frequently use other land change modeling approaches (e.g., cellular automata, system dynamics, econometrics), spatial statistics, and GIS. I also have expertise in synthesis methods (e.g., meta-analysis) for bringing together leveraging disparate forms of social and environmental data to understand how specific cases (i.e., local) of land-use change contribute to and/or differ from broader-scale (i.e. regional or global) patterns of human-environment interactions and land change outcomes.
My initial training was in cadastre and geodesy (B.Eng from the Distrital University, UD, Colombia). After earning my Master’s degree in Geography (UPTC, Colombia) in 2003, I worked for the “José Benito Vives de Andreis” marine and coastal research institute (INVEMAR) and for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Three years later, in 2006, I left Colombia to come to Canada, where I began a PhD in Geography with a specialization in modelling complex systems at Simon Fraser University (SFU), under the direction of Dr. Suzana Dragicevic (SAMLab). In my dissertation I examined the topic of spatial and temporal modelling of insect epidemics and their complex behaviours. After obtaining my PhD in 2011, I began postdoctoral studies at the University of British Columbia (2011) and the University of Victoria (2011-2013), where I worked on issues concerning the spatial and temporal relationships between changes in indirect indicators of biodiversity and climate change.
My research interest is to learn more about spatial and temporal interactions and relationships driving changes in our world. Spatial analysis and modelling and geographic information systems (GIS) can provide insights into complex problems such as climate change, landscape ecology and forestry by explicitly representing phenomena in their geographic context. My research focuses on the multidisciplinary nature of geographical information science (GIScience) to investigate the relationships between ecological processes and resulting spatial patterns.
ABM modelling of molecular and cellular interactions in Lymph Nodes
One of my research areas is agent-based modelling of land change in Brazil. I have worked with ABM in frontier areas of the Brazilian Amazon. I am also part of the team that develops TerraME, an OSS toolkit for ABM in cellular spaces.
I live in Salento (Italy) the small land between two seas, where I work as a teacher in a school for adults. My education includes a degree in Life Sciences; in my post-graduate training, I have been involved in searching for the genetic and molecular responses of some cellular systems to environmental and genomic stresses. Now, one of my great interests is the approach to theoretical biology through agent-based modeling techniques, even if - I know - nothing can be more surprising than the complexity of Nature and the cognition of it.
Complex Adaptive Systems, Agent Based Simulation, Technology Enhanced Learning, and Theoretical Biology
Interested in numerical models and new conceptual ideas, applications from industry to medicine.
I focus on numerical modeling of mechanics of solid materials and cell mechanics. The models that I developed so far address granular matters, bio-fluids, cellular tissues, and individual cells.
I further develop Agent-based Models, which are methods to predict collective behavior from individual dynamics controlled by rules or differential equations. Examples: tumor growth, swarms, crowd movement.
The methods I used are Particle-based methods which offer great flexibility within physical modeling, and can operate in a large range of scales, from atomistic scales (e.g. Molecular Dynamics) to continuum approaches (e.g. Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics).