Ine Pauwels is a PhD student at the University of Ghent (Belgium). She graduated in 2009 as a biologist at the same university. In January 2010, she started her PhD in environmental toxicology and aquatic ecology. The scope of her research is to build a cellular automaton that is able to model the state of populations of pike (Esox lucius) in Flemish rivers. The spatially explicit and dynamic nature of the cellular automaton is a necessary model characteristic, given the life-stage-specific habitat requirements of pike and the related migration between these. Current habitat suitability models lack this spatially explicit and dynamic character and are therefore unable to answer some key questions related to the sustainable management of pike and fish communities in general. It is a major challenge to develop a cellular automaton where as much characteristics as possible of pike and his main habitat are incorporated. Ine’s knowledge about cellular automata is still limited, and she believes this summer school will be the best preparation for her to start the development of this specific model.
Project: First Step in Modeling Pike (Esox lucius) Using a Cellular Automaton
Pike is a fish species that lives in both stagnant and slow-flowing vegetated water bodies. This species is typically highly demanding when it comes to its habitat. For each life stage, the pike migrates to a different type of habitat. Sampling activities revealed a poor ecological state of pike in rivers situated in Flanders. Presence of weirs, sluices, and other infrastructure for water level management, and a lack of naturally structured banks worsen this state. A better understanding of the spatial dynamics of pike populations is essential for proper management of pike (and fish in general). To gain insight into these dynamics, a spatially explicit time dependent model is needed that can catch up features of pike ecology. Current habitat suitability models lack this spatially explicit, dynamic character, and are therefore unable to answer some key questions Flanders water management is dealing with.
Favorite Four-Color Totalistic Cellular Automaton