Texas Tech University

Cade Coldren's Ecological Modeling Group

Ecological simulation modeling allows for the projection of multiple scenarios into the future, in order to evaluate the potential effects that management activities and natural stressors may have on ecosystems and their various components and functions.  The work in this lab is geared largely towards that purpose, although some of the ornithological research may not seem so.

Dr. Coldren began ecological modeling while working for a consulting firm in the late 1990's.  The model in use then, and now, is the Ecological Dynamics Simulation model, or EDYS.  It is a general ecosystem model that has been applied to a variety of ecosystems scattered throughout the western United States, Indonesia, and Australia.  For more details on EDYS, click here.

Other ecological modeling systems will be included in the future, as the need arises.  One under current investigation is Ecological Niche Modeling as a means of considering the invasion dynamics of introduced species into the landscape.


There are currently two graduate students working with EDYS for their dissertations:

Cindy Dickson is applying EDYS to a watershed in Goliad County, Texas.  Her primary focus is addressing issues of scale, both temporal and spatial, on hydrology.  She is also conducting a thorough review of the hydrological code in the model, with an eye towards improvements

Kaniz Farzana is applying EDYS to several different watersheds, one on the Texas coast near San Antonio Bay, and one in the Hill Country of Texas near Junction.  Her research is focused on a sensitivity analysis of hydrological variables as related to vegetation classification and soil profiles.  Specifically, what is the impact on hydrology from different classification systems and their resulting vegetation community composition?  The two extreme cases she is working with are a computer classification from aerial photography compared to an intensive ground survey and mapping.


The lab also conducts both plant and avian research.