Tagged / adrian newton

Professor Adrian Newton in National Geographic

BU’s Professor Adrian Newton has featured in a National Geographic article ‘Apples of Eden: Saving the Wild Ancestor of Modern Apples’.

Reporter Josie Glausiusz explores the endangered wild fruit trees of Central Asia, drawing on Professor Newton’s expertise and experiences working to protect the fruit and nut forests in Kyrgyzstan.

In the article Professor Newton explains the genetic importance of the fruit there: “All of the apples that we’re eating today and cultivating originate from this area. So if we want to add genetic variation to our crops to cope with new pests or climate change, then the genetic resource is these forests. It’s true for apples, apricots, peaches, walnuts, pears. In terms of a wild genetic resource for cultivated fruit trees, there’s nothing like it on the planet.”

Read the full article, ‘Apples of Eden: Saving the Wild Ancestor of Modern Apples’, online here.

Training course on agent-based modelling techniques

Have you ever heard of agent based models, and wondered what they are? Have you perhaps been dazzled by computer simulations of flocking birds or shoals of fish, and wondered how they are produced? Or perhaps you enjoy computer games involving interacting individuals, such as the magnificent Fifa13. If so, you might be interested in a training course that we are hosting later this year, supported by the Fusion Fund.

Agent-based models (ABM) can be described as a type  of computational model that are used for simulating the actions and interactions of autonomous “agents”. These can be either individuals, such as people or animals, or collective entities such as businesses or other types of organization. The models enable the behaviour of such agents to be explored in relation to the behaviour of the system as a whole. The approach is relevant to areas such as game theory, complex systems, computational sociology, multi-agent systems, and evolutionary programming. They are relevant to a wide range of research domains including ecological and social sciences, and enable the study of how simple behavioural rules can generate complex behaviour. They provide a very useful method for supporting interdisciplinary collaboration.

The course will be led by leading practitioners of this rapidly developing technique, and will focus on the use of Netlogo (http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/). This is an open source software environment, which is both powerful and user friendly, enabling attractive graphical output to be generated readily. The course is open to both staff and postgraduate students  who are interested in learning the technique. While the course will be introductory, it is principally aimed at researchers who already have some experience in modelling, or who can see a direct potential application of this method to their own research. Please contact me for further information – Adrian Newton anewton@bournemouth.ac.uk