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.



Msc project opportunity: Using self-organisation to build virtual ecosystems

Are you intrigued by the virtual ecosystems that can be found in modern computer games, in the form of lush forests and grasslands? Then why not use that technology to visualise the ecological models that scientists make. At NIOZ, we offer Msc projects to students who want to use self-organization models to build virtual ecosystems, to show to the public how the ecosystems that we model really look like. This could be an interesting project both for students from ecology and from informatics. Are you interested, send me an email.

An example can be seen in this youtube movie: