- visualising alternative futures for coral reefs
The web portal will provide an interactive interface for users to access MDSWG modelling tools, together with a range of demonstrations of the models in action.

The Modelling & Decision Support Working Group (MDSWG) is building an interactive web portal to allow anyone to explore alternative futures for their coral reefs. The web portal is one of the main products of the CRTR Phase One modelling work and will provide an ongoing legacy of the Program by:

  • Demonstrating the power of models to explore possible futures for Philippine and Mexican reef systems under different threats and management responses;
  • Integrating data on the biophysical dynamics of coral reefs and the socioeconomic dynamics of the people who use them; and
  • Allowing users around the world to input their own data and to generate predictions for their own reef systems under different management or threat scenarios.

, MDSWG chair said: ‘This is a world-first for natural resource management and is a credit to the young researchers – Gilberto Acosta-González, Deborah Cleland, Anne Dray, Tak Fung, Rollan Geronimo, Georgina Gurney and Jess Melbourne-Thomas  – whose innovative work has made it possible.’

The MDS models are built using breakthrough science about the dynamics of coral reefs; leading edge mathematics to create the underlying models; and advanced computer science techniques to deploy the models on a grid of supercomputers. Modelling of natural resource issues at this level of sophistication, realism and complexity has never been done before anywhere in the world, and the MDSWG is working hard with Currie and award-winning website designers, L Cubed, to make the website and modelling tools easy to use for non-scientists.
The website will be launched in beta form in July – look for the link at MDSWG welcomes feedback on this world-first effort.

- Roger Bradbury

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