Natural Sciences >> Biomedical Engineering

Predator-Prey Modeling

by Shaza Hussein


Submitted : Fall 2010

Predator-prey models are useful and often used in the environmental science field because the allow researchers to both observe the dynamics of animal populations and make predictions as to how they will develop over time. This project works to observe the dynamics of a predator-prey relationship over an 80 year time span and to make conclusions based on these predictions. The objective of this project was to create five projections of animal populations based on a simple predator-prey model and explore the trends visible. Each case began with a set of initial conditions that produced different outcomes for the function of the population of rabbits and foxes over an 80 year time span. Using the Euler method of first order integration an excel spreadsheet was developed to produce the values for the population of rabbits and foxes over the span of 80 years in 0.1 increments. Small increments were chosen because the Euler method approximates values and to provide the most accurate data with a small percent error approximates should be made only for times in the very near future. The results in the first four scenarios supported the notion that predator-prey relationships are codependent and periodic. The length of the cycle however varied with each case. The final case served to support the notion that theoretically a completely stable population was achievable. Future studies may want to vary the increment of time used in the Euler integration to test the reliability of their data and decided what values for change in time are appropriate for a certain desired level of accuracy and reliability.



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Advisors :
Masahiko Saito, Mathematics and Statistics
Scott Campbell, Chemical & Biomedical Engineering
Suggested By :
Scott Campbell