Bringing primate technological landscapes to life using computer simulation

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Katarina Almeida-Warren is a DPhil candidate at the Primate Models for Behavioural Evolution Lab (University of Oxford), with a background in archaeology, primatology and anthropology. Her research focuses on the tool-use, archaeology, and culture of non-human primates and how this can provide new perspectives to human origins research.

Studying living species and the dynamic ecological landscapes in which they live plays an important part in reconstructing ancient behaviours as well as the environmental and evolutionary processes that shaped them. Computational advances in recent decades are enhancing actualistic research by enabling the translation of real-world data into virtual landscapes through computer simulation. These can be used to design controlled in silico experiments to explore questions such as, what were the ecological and behavioural factors that lead to the formation of early hominin stone tool sites? Katarina will discuss how she is addressing this question through simulating the technological landscape of the chimpanzees of Bossou (Guinea) using Agent-Based Modelling in NetLogo.

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The following seminars will be given at 3pm on Tuesdays (Weeks 1-8)  Convener: Dr S. Carvalho.

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