Dr. Moira Zellner is an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Urban Planning and Policy, the director of the Urban Data Visualization lab, and is a research associate professor in the Institute for Environmental Science and Policy at UIC. Dr. Zellner has served as Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator in interdisciplinary projects examining how specific policy, technological and behavioral factors influence the emergence and impacts of a range of complex environmental problems, where interaction effects make responsibilities and burdens unclear. Her research also examines the value of complexity-based modeling for participatory policy exploration and social learning with stakeholders and decision-makers. Dr. Zellner also teaches a variety of workshops on complexity-based modeling of socio-ecological systems, for training of both scientists and decision-makers.
Applications of agent-based modeling to urban and environmental planning
I am a scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. Previously, I worked for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System as an internal consultant on statistical computing. I have also been a consultant to numerous government agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Executive Office of the President, and the United States Department of Homeland Security. I am a passionate educator, teaching mathematics and statistics at the University of Maryland University College since 2010 and have taught public management at Central Michigan University, Penn State, and the University of Baltimore.
I am fortunate to play in everyone else’s backyard. My most recent published scholarship has modeled the population of Earth-orbiting satellites, analyzed the risks of flood insurance, predicted disruptive events, and sought to understand small business cybersecurity. I have written two books on my work and am currently co-editing two more.
In my spare time, I serve Howard County, Maryland, as a member of the Board of Appeals and the Watershed Stewards Academy Advisory Committee of the University of Maryland Extension. Prior volunteer experience includes providing economic advice to the Columbia Association, establishing an alumni association for the College Park Scholars Program at the University of Maryland, and serving on numerous public and private volunteer advisory boards.
Community assembly after intervention by coral transplantation
The potential of transplantation of scleractinian corals in restoring degraded reefs has been widely recognized. Levels of success of coral transplantation have been highly variable due to variable environmental conditions and interactions with other reef organisms. The community structure of the area being restored is an emergent outcome of the interaction of its components as well as of processes at the local level. Understanding the
coral reef as a complex adaptive system is essential in understanding how patterns emerge from processes at local scales. Data from a coral transplantation experiment will be used to develop an individual-based model of coral community development. The objectives of the model are to develop an understanding of assembly rules, predict trajectories and discover unknown properties in the development of coral reef communities in the context of reef restoration. Simulation experiments will be conducted to derive insights on community trajectories under different disturbance regimes as well as initial transplantation configurations. The model may also serve as a decision-support tool for reef restoration.
In this paper, we explore the dynamic of stock prices over time by developing an agent-based market. The developed artificial market comprises of heterogeneous agents occupied with various behaviors and trading strategies. To be specific, the agents in the market may expose to overconfidence, conservatism or loss aversion biases. Additionally, they may employ fundamental, technical, adaptive (neural network) strategies or simply being arbitrary agents (zero intelligence agents). The market has property of direct interaction. The environment takes the form of network structure, namely, it takes the manifestation of scale-free network. The information will flow between the agents through the linkages that connect them. Furthermore, the tax imposed by the regulator is investigated. The model is subjected to goodness of fit to the empirical observations of the S\&P500. The fitting of the model is refined by calibrating the model parameters through heuristic approach, particularly, scatter search. Conclusively, the parameters are validated against normality, absence of correlations, volatility cluster and leverage effect using statistical tests.
My research is focused on understanding the importance of spatial and temporal environmental variability on communities and populations. The key question I aim to address is how the anthropogenic impacts, such as disturbances of individual animals or changed landscape heterogeneity associated with climate changes, influence the persistence of species. The harbour porpoise is an example of a species that is influenced by anthropogenic disturbances, and much of my research has focused on how the Danish porpoise populations are influenced by noise from offshore constructions. I use a wide range of modelling tools to assess the relative importance of different sources of environmental variation, including individual-based/agent based models, spatial statistics, and classical population models. This involves development of computer programs in R and NetLogo. In addition to my own research I currently supervise three PhD students and participate in the management of Department of Bioscience at Aarhus University.
Currently working on agent-based modeling of wealth and income distributions; formalizing some of Luhmann’s theories of communication; modeling social norms; and modeling generative mechanisms of status hierarchies.
System of Systems and Complex Systems
Development of spatial agent-based models to sustainability science and ecosystem service assessment, integration of agent-based model with biophysical process based model, improvement of theory of GIScience and land use change science, development of spatial analytical approach (all varieties of spatial regression), spatial data modeling including data mining, linking processes such as climate change, market, and policy to study patterns.