Short Course on Social-Ecological Modelling and Agent-based Simulation, November, 11th – 15th, 2019 at Curtin University, Perth, Australia

This short course is held annually at different universities in Africa and the U.S. and we have been asked whether it would be possible to run it in Australia. We therefore would like potential participants to express their interest.

Amongst other topics, this interdisciplinary course gives an introduction to:

  • Moving from the research question to a conceptual model,
  • Implementing a conceptual model using the agent-based approach, and
  • Deriving value from simulation runs.

Participation is recommended for PhD students, postdocs, lecturers and scientists from a variety of disciplines, including:

  • Environmental and biological sciences,
  • Socio-ecological and –economic sciences,
  • Computer and Data science,
  • Sustainable development,
  • Smart cities, and
  • Epidemiology and public health.

If you are interested, please contact:

Prof Dr Thomas Clemen, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany,

MARS Redesign

As you might have realized, our site has been redesigned. The new site has a completly new look, the pages have been restructured and texts edited. All this has been done to better present ourselves to you. This includes both users of the simulation system as well as students wanting to work with and on MARS.

We hope you like the new look and that you have an easier time finding what you need. If you have questions or feedback regarding the new look, please contact us.

Visit from Rick McKenzie PhD, Old Dominion University

  This week, we were visited by Rick D. McKenzie, PhD from the “Old Dominion University in Virginia, USA”. Rick is professor and chair at the department of “modeling, Simulation and Visualization Engineering”. The reason of the visit was the exchange of knowledge for future co-operations and him getting to know our team.  

Happy faces after successful short course run in South Africa

Another short course on social-ecological modelling was successfully conducted by members of the Ars Africae project and the MARS team at Witwatersrand University, South Africa (Wits Rural Facility). The general aim of this course is to introduce multi-agent modelling and simulation as a powerful tool to gain a better mechanistic understanding about complex adaptive systems like social-ecological systems are. If you are interested in this general topic you may register for one of the next runs by sending an email to

Research funding from the City of Hamburg received

This week, we have been granted research funds from the city of Hamburg. The funds have been granted to the SmartOpenHamburg project which is part of the information platform Members of the MARS group will work on this project in cooperation with the University of Hamburg.

The project aims to empower decision makers, by giving better information for the urban space. The MARS simulation system will be used to simulate urban traffic, logistics among other topics and future scenarios for city development.

Visit from Ph.D. Student Gwendoline Traisnel

For the last two weeks, Gwendoline Traisnel has been visiting the MARS team. She is a Ph.D. student at Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Her studies focus on the behavioral ecology of African penguins. She analyses between-individual variation in behavior and its influence on population dynamics during climate change. The reason for visiting the MARS group is to develop an individual-based model to predict the impact of reduced prey availability on adult and chick African penguin survival rates.    

Visit from the Senckenberg Research Institute

Dr. Simon Scheiter and Carola Martens from the Senckenberg Research Institute at the University of Frankfurt visited the MARS lab between August, 14th and 17th. Both groups are currently working on different approaches for modelling savanna system dynamics. Main goal of this scientific exchange was discussing opportunities for coupling adaptive dynamic global vegetation models (aDGVM) with MARS. The very promising results will be published soon.

Visit by Partners from University of Florida

Last week,  professor Greg Kiker and his PhD student Tori Morgan from the University of Florida (UF) visited us in Hamburg. The purpose of this visit was to deepen the partnership in ecological agent-based modelling, that exists since 2012.

Prof. Kiker is currently working on a research paper that compares the QND simulation system with MARS. Also, there are plans to use the MARS simulation system for educational purposes at the UF.

Tori Morgan recently started her studies on an agent-based model for simulating human and ecological exposure to mercury from informal gold mining activities in Columbia.

Christian and Tori discussing the mercury model.