Resilience thinking agent-based modelers join forces with marine biologists

Maja, Alfredo, Emilie, and Andrew.

For a couple of days the agent-based specialists me (Emilie Lindkvist) and Maja Schlüter from Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) reunited with Andrew Johnson, Octavio Aburto-Ortopeza and Alfredo Girón-Nava at their home institute Scripps Institute of Oceanography (SIO) in La Jolla, California. Through our joint project MAREA (Resilience and Adaptive Capacity of Small-Scale Fishing Communities and Coastal Marine Ecosystems to Environmental and Economic Variability), we came together to refine our joint research questions and find opportunities where the data and deep knowledge on the Gulf of California held by the SIO crew, could meet resilience thinking and the specific method of agent-based modeling held by the SRC crew.

Home of the SIO crew and our workshop.

We started with some presentations of each others work, specifically focusing on explaining different data held by SIO, and how we might use their data and their expert knowledge in an agent-based modeling approach. After the first day we quite quickly had a question, a broad idea of the data that we could use from SIO, which provided space the following day to get into details of how to aggregate data and set up an basic agent-based model. Our aim is to use the agent-based model to investigate consequences of the change in fishers’ behavior with regards to their mobility, on the resilience of the small-scale fishery in the Gulf of California.

View from the hills of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography over La Jolla, California.

If you are curious of how fisher mobility, migration and diversification will determine the future of the fish stocks in the Gulf of California, it is likely that we’ll provide some interesting future results in this area. More to come!

The excellent hosts at SIO provided the perfect conference room with an ocean view, warm and sunny weather, a great taco restaurant in down town La Jolla, and an unforgettable home made pizza dinner. However, to the SRC crew’s chocking surprise – SIO does not have a coffee machine. We still don’t understand how they survive.