Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Science
Andrew J. Bernoff
2020 Hannah K Larson
Locust swarms contain millions of individuals and are a threat to agriculture on four continents. At low densities, locusts are solitary foragers; however, when crowded, they undergo an epigenetic phase change to a gregarious state in which they are attracted to other locusts. It is believed that this is an evolutionary adaptation that optimizes the seeking of resources. We have developed an agent-based model based on the solitary-gregarious transition and foraging behaviors due to hunger levels. A novel feature of our model is that it treats food resources as a dynamic variable in the environment. We discuss how social interaction strategies influence the efficiency of foraging and the effect of heterogeneous distributions of resources on the solitary-gregarious phase transitions.
Larson, Hannah, "Agent-Based Modeling of Locust Foraging and Social Behavior" (2020). HMC Senior Theses. 240.