An introduction to agent-based models as an accessible surrogate to field-based research and teaching. Murphy, K. J.; Ciuti, S.; and Kane, A. Ecology and Evolution, 2020.
An introduction to agent-based models as an accessible surrogate to field-based research and teaching [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
Abstract There are many barriers to fieldwork including cost, time, and physical ability. Unfortunately, these barriers disproportionately affect minority communities and create a disparity in access to fieldwork in the natural sciences. Travel restrictions, concerns about our carbon footprint, and the global lockdown have extended this barrier to fieldwork across the community and led to increased anxiety about gaps in productivity, especially among graduate students and early-career researchers. In this paper, we discuss agent-based modeling as an open-source, accessible, and inclusive resource to substitute for lost fieldwork during COVID-19 and for future scenarios of travel restrictions such as climate change and economic downturn. We describe the benefits of Agent-Based models as a teaching and training resource for students across education levels. We discuss how and why educators and research scientists can implement them with examples from the literature on how agent-based models can be applied broadly across life science research. We aim to amplify awareness and adoption of this technique to broaden the diversity and size of the agent-based modeling community in ecology and evolutionary research. Finally, we discuss the challenges facing agent-based modeling and discuss how quantitative ecology can work in tandem with traditional field ecology to improve both methods.
@Article{Murphy2020,
  author   = {Murphy, Kilian J. and Ciuti, Simone and Kane, Adam},
  title    = {An introduction to agent-based models as an accessible surrogate to field-based research and teaching},
  journal  = {Ecology and Evolution},
  year     = {2020},
  volume   = {n/a},
  number   = {n/a},
  abstract = {Abstract There are many barriers to fieldwork including cost, time, and physical ability. Unfortunately, these barriers disproportionately affect minority communities and create a disparity in access to fieldwork in the natural sciences. Travel restrictions, concerns about our carbon footprint, and the global lockdown have extended this barrier to fieldwork across the community and led to increased anxiety about gaps in productivity, especially among graduate students and early-career researchers. In this paper, we discuss agent-based modeling as an open-source, accessible, and inclusive resource to substitute for lost fieldwork during COVID-19 and for future scenarios of travel restrictions such as climate change and economic downturn. We describe the benefits of Agent-Based models as a teaching and training resource for students across education levels. We discuss how and why educators and research scientists can implement them with examples from the literature on how agent-based models can be applied broadly across life science research. We aim to amplify awareness and adoption of this technique to broaden the diversity and size of the agent-based modeling community in ecology and evolutionary research. Finally, we discuss the challenges facing agent-based modeling and discuss how quantitative ecology can work in tandem with traditional field ecology to improve both methods.},
  doi      = {https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.6848},
  eprint   = {https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/ece3.6848},
  keywords = {accessible resource, agent-based model, computational tools, ecology, fieldwork, inclusive resource, NetLogo, open-source resource, quantitative methods},
  url      = {https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ece3.6848},
}
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