To understand the nature of sustainable biophysical/economic systems. To determine the necessary and sufficient conditions for sustainability. To explore the trade-off between sustainability and social or economic justice. To investigate the application of the MEP and/or the MEPP to economic systems, or agent-based models of economic systems.
Using agent based models to look at ecosystem-based or integrated management of oceans and coastal zones
I am currently head of the Junior Research Group POLISES which uses agent-based models to study intended and unintended effects of global policy instruments on the social-ecological resilience of smallholders. In this project, we focus on the impact of policies targeting climate risk in two common property regimes of pastoralists in Africa (Morocco and Kenya/Ethiopia).
On a conceptual level, I work in an international team of modellers, psychologists and natural scientists on adequate representations of human behaviour in agent-based models. Furthermore, I am interested in how to describe models in an appropriate and standardised manner to increase their comprehensibility and comparison.
I use agent-based systems, stochastic process, mass balance models and computational statistics in exploring human exposure assessment.
I have a backround in computer science, worked in natural resource management, and ended up with a PhD in Sustainability Sciences!
My interests are to explore aspects of sustainability, resilience, and adaptive management in social-ecological systems using agent-based models and other simulation models.
Dissertation: Narrative Generation for Agent-Based Models
Abstract: This dissertation proposes a four-level framework for thinking about having agent-based models (ABM) generate narrative describing their behavior, and then provides examples of models that generate narrative at each of those levels. In addition, “interesting” agents are identified in order to direct the attention of researchers to the narratives most likely to be worth spending their time reviewing. The focus is on developing techniques for generating narrative based on agent actions and behavior, on techniques for generating narrative describing aggregate model behavior, and on techniques for identifying “interesting” agents. Examples of each of these techniques are provided in two different ABMs, Zero-Intelligence Traders (Gode & Sunder, 1993, 1997) and Sugarscape (Epstein & Axtell, 1996).
Agent Based Models used in policy analysis
I am strongly interested in ecological modeling and complex system and truly enjoyed working with a variety of tools to uncover patterns in empirical data and explore their ecological and evolutionary consequences. My primary research is to conduct research in the field of ‘ecological complexity’, including the development of appropriate descriptive measure to quantify the structural, spatial and temporal complexity of ecosystem and the identification of the mechanism that generate this complexity, through modeling and field studies.
Currently investigated is how biological characteristics of invasive species (dispersal strategies and demographic processes) interact with abiotic variables and resource distribution to determine establishment success and spread in a complex heterogeneous environment (Individual based modelling integrated with GIS technologies).
I am Professor in Computational Resilience Economics at the University of Twente (the Netherlands), which I joined in 2010. In September 2017 I also joined University of Technology Sydney (Australia) as Professor of Computational Economic Modeling working with spatial simulation models to study socioeconomic impacts of disasters and emergence of resilience across scales. I was honored to be elected as a Member of the De Jonge Akademie of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (DJA/ KNAW in 2016) and of Social Sciences Council (SWR/KNAW in 2017). From 2009 to 2015 I have been working part-time as an economist at Deltares – the leading Dutch knowledge institute in the field of water management – specializing in economics of climate change, with focus on floods and droughts management.
I am interested in the feedbacks between policies and aggregated outcomes of individual decisions in the context of spatial and environmental policy-making. The issue of social interactions and information diffusion through networks to affect economic behavior is highly relevant here. My research line focuses on exploring how behavioral changes at micro level may lead to critical transitions (tipping points/regime shifts) on macro level in complex adaptive human-environment systems in application to climate change economics. I use agent-based modelling (ABM) combined with social science methods of behavioral data collection on individual decisions and social networks. This research line has been distinguished by the NWO VENI and ERC Starting grants and the Early Career Excellence award of the International Environmental Modeling Society (iEMSs). In 2018 I was invited to serve as the Associate Editor of the Environmental Modelling & Software journal, where I have been a regular Member of the Editorial Board since 2013.