Computational Modelling Group

Angela Watkins

Postgraduate Research Student
Biological Sciences (FNES)
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2000 - 2003 BSc Zoology: Royal Holloway, University of London.

2006 - 2007 Master of Research Biodiversity and Conservation: University of Leeds.

2008 - 2009 Senior Conservation and Land Management Adviser: Natural England, York.

I am part of the Doctoral Training Centre in Complex Systems Simulation and as such am co-supervised by the School of Biological Sciences and the Electronics and Computer Science department. Having completed an initial taught year, focusing on understanding and investigating complex systems, I am now completing the main research part of the 4-year PhD programme.

I would describe myself as a landscape ecologist, with interests focusing on ecosystem resilience and robustness in disturbed systems. I am primarily interested in how ecosystems respond to climate change and increased habitat fragmentation.

My PhD project is focused on modelling and simulating habitat permeability for mammalian wildlife; using a combination of least-cost models and agent-based simulations to investigate movement of Jaguars within a critical section of corridor habitat in Belize. In this case, the dynamics of this threatened species can be used as an indicator of the resilience of the ecosystem as a whole.

The aim of this work is to extend and complement work already initiated by my supervisor, Patrick Doncaster, and previous PhD students, with the aim of providing sufficient evidence to support the ongoing protection of corridor habitat from further development and disturbance.

My project is funded the an EPSRC Doctoral Training Grant.

More information about me and my research can be found at


and my blog which can be found at

I'm also on twitter @ecologyWatkins.

Research Interests

Life sciences simulation: Ecology, Systems biology

Socio-technological System simulation: Human environment interaction

Algorithms and computational methods: Agents, Geographic Information Systems

Simulation software: NetLogo, Repast Simphony

Visualisation and data handling software: ArcGIS

Software Engineering Tools: Eclipse, SVN

Programming languages and libraries: Java, Python, R

Computational platforms: Mac OS X, Windows

Transdisciplinary tags: Complex Systems, IfLS, Quantitative Biology

Working with...

Patrick Doncaster
Reader, Biological Sciences (FNES)
Jason Noble
Research Fellow, Electronics and Computer Science (FPAS)

Research Groups