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ALMaSS: A systems simulation approach to environmental and wildlife management 2021

ECTS credits:
4 (2+2)


Course parameters:
: English

Level of course: PhD course

Time of year: Autumn 2021

No. of contact hours/hours in total incl. preparation, assignment(s) or the like: Preparation for lecture (10hr), Lecture (15hr), Preparation for exercise (10hr), Working on exercise (15hr), Project and report (50hr)

Capacity limits: 25 participants


Objectives of the course:
To introduce students to modelling agents, landscapes & humans, pesticide risk assessment & workflows in A systems simulation approach to environmental & wildlife management (ALMaSS).


Learning outcomes and competences:
At the end of the course, the student should be able to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • agents, species modelling, the model cycle and model development steps as well as ALMaSS main components
  • sub-population modelling in ALMaSS
  • the roles of an ALMaSS landscape model and its core properties, the significance of agricultural areas and their management in ALMaSS
  • environmental risk assessment (ERA) for populations, and pesticide modelling in ALMaSS
  • the ALMaSS toolchain
  • multi-criteria decision-making and modelling of human species in ALMaSS


Compulsory programme:
Lectures and hands-on exercise


Course contents:
Day 1

o    General introduction to ALMaSS and course overview

o    Agent based modelling - An introduction to agents, species modelling, the model cycle and model development steps as well as ALMaSS main components

o    Introduction to the hare and the skylark models - what do they describe and how they work, with some examples of use

o    Exercise: Using ALMaSS to look at population effects using hare and skylark

Day 2

o    Introduction to sub-population modelling in ALMaSS, what, why and how.

o    Landscape introduction

§  the roles of a LS model for ALMaSS (the spatial dimension)

§  the core properties of an ALMaSS LS model ... raster, completeness, unique polygons, static/dynamic LS elements, polygon attributes (TOLE, F-type, soil, etc.)

o    Mapping of agricultural areas

§  significance of agricultural areas in ALMaSS

§  how they are handled in ALMaSS (as dynamic components, exploiting farm-id, farm-type, crop rotations, crop management, veg growth curves, etc."

o    Exercise: Landscape generation

Day 3

o    Introduction to dynamic aspects of landscape

o    Introduction to pesticide risk assessment

o    Introduction to pesticide modelling in ALMaSS

o    Exercise: Using ALMaSS yourselves (participants)

Day 4

o    Introduction to honey-bee colony model for risk assessment (ApisRAM)

o    Introduction to toolchain in ALMaSS

o    Exercise: The developers toolchain

Day 5

o    Introduction to Multi-criteria decision-making

o    Modelling human species

o    Exercise: Human decision making and scenarios


Master’s degree


Name of lecturers:
Christopher John Topping, James Henty Williams, Andrey Chuhutin, Geoffrey Brian Groom, Elżbieta Ziółkowska, Luna Kondrup Marcussen, Xiaodong Duan


Type of course/teaching methods:
Online teaching


Course homepage:


Course assessment:
Participants attending all the lecture and exercise receive 2 ECTS. In addition to this, a mini project with a report must be delivered in order to receive full 4 ECTS.


Department of Bioscience


Special comments on this course:


18-22 October 2021




Deadline for registration is 30 September 2021. Sign up via the course website here: https://projects.au.dk/sess/courses-and-workshops/online-almass-course/

If you have any questions, please contact Luna Kondrup Marcussen, e-mail: lkm@bios.au.dk  

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