Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Reader 1

Andrew J. Bernoff

Reader 2

Jasper Weinburd

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Rights Information

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.

Supplemental NetLogo Code.nlogo (34 kB)
NetLogo code used to run the agent-based model