Projects for MSc students: taking on shifting biodiversity baselines with Visual Modelling of ecosystems

Loss of biodiversity is one of the biggest problems that humankind is currently facing. Conservation and restoration efforts are not always met with understanding from the general public.

The reason for that is called the “shifting baseline problem”: people think that single-species grassland are the natural Dutch landscape, and they have no knowledge anymore of how biodiverse ecosystems have looked like.

We offer MSc projects that combine ecosystem modelling with 3D visualisation software to recreate natural, biodiverse landscapes. This topic is open for students with experience and/or a lot of enthusiasm for modelling, programming, and computer graphics, and that want to study how ecosystems in the past have looked and functioned differently from what they are now.

Examples are rewilding projects, reconstruction of historic landscapes, and restoration of marine intertidal ecosystems.