Coupled human natural systems

A significant component of the work we are doing in HEnDy is directed toward developing an integrated computer model that simulates the dynamic relationship between social organization, livelihood practices, ecological interactions, and physical systems. The model allows us to simulate the impacts of changing social conditions, habitat modification, and climate change scenarios on ecosystems and landscapes in arid lands, especially those with a long history of human occupation and fire adapted biota. The data we are using to inform the model comes from intensive quantitative ethnographic work and ecological survey, mostly in Australia's Western Desert.


Bird, D.W., R. Bliege Bird, Nyalangka Taylor, B.F. Codding (2016).  A landscape architecture of fire: cultural and ecological emergence in Australia’s Western Desert. Current Anthropology 57(S13): S65-S79. 

Bliege Bird, R. (2015).  Disturbance, complexity, scale: new approaches to the study of human–environment interactions. Annual Review of Anthropology 44:241-257.

Codding, B.F., R. Bliege Bird, P. Kauhanen, D.W. Bird (2014). Conservation or co-evolution? Intermediate levels of Aboriginal burning and hunting have positive effects on kangaroo populations in Western Australia. Human Ecology 42: 659-669. 

Bliege Bird, R., N. Taylor, B.F. Codding, D.W. Bird (2013). Niche construction and Dreaming logic: Aboriginal patch mosaic burning and varanid lizards (Varanus gouldii) in Australia. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 280:20132297. 

Bliege Bird, R., B.F. Codding, P. Kauhanen, D.W. Bird (2012).  Aboriginal hunting buffers climate-driven fire-size variability in Australia’s spinifex grasslands. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 109:10287-10292.