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Computational Ecology and Environmental Science

      

Predictive Models of Ecological Systems

The Computational Ecology and Environmental Science Group (CEES) develop, for ecological systems, the kind of useful predictive models we take for granted in other areas, such as physical engineering. Think, predicting the response of global food production to climate cahnge, or predicting the impacts of deforestation on carbon and biodiversity. To develop such models, we find that we need to invent a variety of new concepts, algorithms, and methods – which we then package into re-useable software tools. In this way, we can help Microsoft to do its part to save the world.

             

Why Microsoft?

Individuals, governments and businesses are showing an unprecedented level of concern over environmental issues, and for good reason – humanity is facing some incredibly serious global environmental challenges, including climate change, food security, and the possibility of pandemics. Addressing these challenges requires new kinds of science enabled by new kinds of scientific software. And the world’s largest software company is Microsoft. How could it not be involved in this area? [Microsoft and the environment]

    

Real ecologists, real ecology

Although we are part of Microsoft, all CEES members are active research ecologists with PhDs in Ecology, and a proven track record of publishing in top ecology journals. Our specialisms include vegetation, forests and climate change; conservation; biogeography; and disease dynamics. In addition to developing new scientific software, we write scientific papers, co-supervise PhD students, and lecture at universities. [list of major CEES projects] [list of scientific publications]

 

   

The science: predictive modelling of the biosphere

We lead, collaborate on or are involved with a wide variety of scientific projects involving different scientific questions, taxa, spatiotemporal scales and methodology. But we are currently working especially hard to assemble a set of predictive models, predicting the response of key aspects of the biosphere to human pressures. These models include CCF1.0, a model of the terrestrial carbon cycle; and the Madingley model, a new model of global biodiversity and ecosystem function. We hope that CCF1.0 will enable more accurate, transparent and defensible predictions of terrestrial carbon down to regional scales; whereas the Madingley model allows us to begin to understand how different biotic processes fit together to make the biosphere. [CCF1.0] [The Madingley Model] [list of CEES projects]

 

    

The software: new tools for new science

Since our inception we’ve experimented with many prototype software tools covering all parts of the scientific process from generating new environmental data; storing, finding and making sense of the data that do exist; defining new models; parameterizing and refining models into predictive tools; running model simulations at scale; visualizing and packaging science for stakeholders. We’ve now packaged up alpha version of some of these prototypes and made them available on our new tools site.

      

Latest News [for all news click here]

 

Sadia presents at COP19!

Lucas and Piero in Science: protect 2/3 of plant species with only 17% of the land

Technology for Nature featured in New Scientist

CEES partners with UCL and ZSL at Royal Society Summer Exhibition

Matthew Smith shows that 90% of internet auction trade in endangered Cacti is illegal

The new tools added to our tools site: MaxEnt tutorial, C# tools template, and Terrestrial Carbon Model

Mark Vanderwel, Vassily and Drew in GEB: how does tree demography lead to geographical distributions of PFTs?

Lucas and Greg on 'Software Sociology' -- in Science

CEES's work featured on CNN

Read about our prototype data-->model-->predictions browser tool, codename Distribution Modeller, and see it in action

Paper with Raul Garcia-Valdes on non-equilibrium species distribution modelling finally appears! In Journal of Ecology

Drew Purves' 90 seconds on modelling at 'Climate Desk' [video]

Mark Vanderwel and Drew Purves on Disturbance and US Carbon Dynamics in Global Change Biology

GEM idea covered by Financial Times

Our Comment piece in Nature: Time to Model All Life on Earth

--- Latest News ---
 
[for all news click here]
 
 Sadia presents at COP19!
 
Lucas and Piero in Science: protect 2/3 of plant species with only 17% of the land 
 
Technology for Nature featured in New Scientist
 
CEES partners with UCL and ZSL at Royal Society Summer Exhibition
 
Matthew Smith shows that 90% of internet auction trade in endangered Cacti is illegal
 
The new tools added to our tools site: MaxEnt tutorial, C# tools template, and Terrestrial Carbon Model
 
Mark Vanderwel, Vassily and Drew in GEB: how does tree demography lead to geographical distributions of PFTs?
 
Lucas and Greg on 'Software Sociology' -- in Science
 
CEES's work featured on CNN!
 
Read about our prototype data-->model-->predictions browser tool, codename Distribution Modeller, and see it in action
 
Paper with Raul Garcia-Valdes on non-equilibrium species distribution modelling finally appear! In Journal of Ecology
 
Drew Purves' 90 seconds on modelling at 'Climate Desk' [video]
 
Mark Vanderwel and Drew Purves on Disturbance and US Carbon Dynamics in Global Change Biology
 
GEM idea covered by Financial Times
 
Our Comment piece in Nature: Time to Model All Life on Earth 
 
[see all news items]