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NCORE leads the Modeling and Decision Support working group of the World Bank / Global Environmental Facility Coral Reef Targeted Research Project, and collaborates in a variety of vital programs, including the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System Project, the NSF Biocomplexity Program, and the Caribbean Reefs at Risk Analysis. A series of international workshops are being conducted in order to prioritize research issues.

We describe here a series of studies focused on developing agent-based models (ABM) of some interacting elements of coral reefs. Readers are encouraged to learn more about this approach (see Links of Interest for some recommended websites). 

ReefSim, our final product, will be written in the Java2 and JOGL. ReefSim will allow managers to respond preemptively to human or natural disturbances that have the potential to impact the ecosystem. Initially, models are being developed for an unconstrained 2D space. As they are developed, agents (3D rendered when applicable) will be superimposed onto a 3D digital map to create a virtual reality of the area in study. This tool will provide managers and researchers 3D simulations executed to either reconstruct past events or examine potential future scenarios.

Experimental 3D Scenes


3D Objects: Reef Visit
Wade Cooper, NCORE

Series of 3D objects in a single environment, and the camera position is changed to reveal 3D objects included in the working environment.

{Click here to download MPG file}

3D Darwinian Reef
Wade Cooper, NCORE

3D presentation of the stages in the formation of coral atolls from fringing reefs as theorized by Charles Darwin.

{Click here to download MPG file}



Modules are currently being developed in the following:
  1. Reef fishes
  2. Macroalgae
  3. Epizootiology
  4. Corals, and
  5. Socioeconomics.