Humans shape Earth’s ecosystems through a wide range of activities such as farming, mining, building of infrastructure
or the declaration of protected areas. We use dynamic social-ecological modelling, in particular agent-based modelling, to
enhance the understanding of connections between human behaviour and emerging land use patterns under different processes
of global change. This approach allows taking into account micro-scale interactions of households, links between social
and ecological system components, and cross-scale effects of global policies (through their locally installed instruments)
on local land use strategies.
Suitable policies which lead to sustainable land use practices can only be derived if humans are represented in simulation
models in an appropriate way, e.g. considering their social contexts and their cognitive abilities. Therefore, a particular
focus of our group lies on the adequate representation of human decision making in agent-based models of natural resource
use and its theoretical and empirical foundation.