Overview of my PhD

I began my PhD knowing that I wanted to use agent-based modeling to explore the social side of an environmental issue. You can read more about agent-based modeling and social simulation here – http://cress.soc.surrey.ac.uk/web/home. Though I had not realised it completely, I recognised many of the problems associated with the traditional types of modelling I had been exposed to in economics and environmental economics. Whilst I saw their power in many cases, I was also aware they failed to explain, or even describe, many real world systems and phenomena.

This poster presents a piece of work I did in my first year on the anthropogenic causes of land degradation- PJ PGR conf poster FINAL FINAL . Understanding what the literature identified as the key drivers of land degradation was important in deciding to study soil conservation adoption for my PhD. When I realised that the causes of degradation (and soil conservation adoption) were often complex, and context-dependent, I decided it would be interesting to explore them with agent-based modelling. I wanted to contribute to extending the theory on what factors were important in explaining adoption of conservation, whilst also exploring the possibilities of building models for highly context-dependent problems.

This simple poster gives a very simple introduction to the model I am currently working on.ABM poster

And this document – AISB2013 Camera Ready PJ (a conference paper I am presenting shortlty at http://www.aisb.org.uk/events/aisb13), gives a lot more detail about the current design of my model, and future plans.

Before I developed my model, I also carried out a piece of work, that tried to understand how people actually use models in the policy process. To do this I interviewed a bunch of individuals actually working on policy directly. This poster introduces the work…

models in policy poster

And this document – IRSPM 2013 Paper Peter Johnson (a conference paper I am soon to present at http://www.irspm2013.com) represents an early draft of the write up of this piece of work.

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