Virtual Ecology Project
This site is no longer maintained. Please go to www.virtualbiologylab.org for the most up to date models and information
Virtual Ecology is a project designed to provide interactive activities which demonstrate ecological principles. We provide agent-based models that simulate classic ecological experiments or concepts across a wide range of ecological topics. Students manipulate experimental parameters and observe the results. These results are provided numerically and graphically, and are reinforced with a visualization of the model’s ‘world’. The content presented is suitable for advanced high-school and college students.
These models are designed to facilitate inquiry-based learning. Typically, students would be given background information about the ecological principles, and guided through a simple experiment. From there, students can be asked to design their own experiments to answer specific ecological questions. In this way, students generate data that can be compiled and analyzed in statistical software. These simulations are stochastic, so no two runs with the same parameters will be identical. The stochastic property brings scientific realism to the virtual experiments, and emphasizes the need for replication.
Please contact us with any comments, questions or suggestions at: firstname.lastname@example.org
These models were created in the Netlogo environment and require Java 1.4.1 or higher to run.
Wilensky, U. 1999. NetLogo. http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/. Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling, Northwestern University. Evanston, IL.