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        While less powerful than the research-grade software developed by Applied Biomathematics, RAMAS EcoLab incorporates all features of the RAMAS Library essential for teaching the basic principles of population ecology, at a level accessible to high school, undergraduate and graduate students. RAMAS EcoLab accompanies one of three textbooks: Applied Population Ecology, Conservation Biology with RAMAS EcoLab, or Population Growth and Endangered Species Laboratories.

For a comparison of all of the teaching books and software, visiting our teaching page.

Ramas EcoLab runs on Windows operating systems.

Mac OS infoClick here for information about running RAMAS EcoLab on a Macintosh.

Program structure

The program has four modules for:

Random number generator

generating random numbers

Single Population Growth

simple models that incorporate variability and density dependence


Age and Stage-structured Models

matrix models that incorporate age and stage structure in addition to variability and density dependence

Metapopulation Models

metapopulation models with spatial structure, variability and density dependence

      Helmeted HoneyeaterEach module is used to create models or load sample files, enter or modify input parameters, and run simulations. Students can create and save their own models, run simulations, and watch as the population trajectories or the map of the metapopulation is updated at every time step during a simulation.  EcoLab is combined with one of three textbooks that are tailored towared a specific audience.  While this versatile textbook­software combination can stand alone as a text for courses in ecology, environmental studies, population ecology, conservation biology, applied ecology, and wildlife management, it can also be used in combination with a number of leading textbooks.  See the teaching software page for more information about choosing the right package.


Metapop Map Screen

Here is a sample metapopulation map displayed in EcoLab.


Input may include parameters such as:

  • survival
  • fecundity
  • age of first reproduction
  • initial population abundance
  • carrying capacity

Output may include results such as: (as graphs or tables)

  • mean abundance over time
  • probability of extinction
  • number of individuals harvested
  • probability of a decline



Metapop Output Screen


        RAMAS EcoLab combines tutorial features of more advanced RAMAS programs that are used in research and teaching at over 800 universities and governmental laboratories in 40 countries. Recent reviews of RAMAS appeared in Conservation Biology, Quarterly Review of Biology, Ecological Modelling, Bull. of the Ecol. Society of America, and Natural Resource Modeling. See also  Reviews of RAMAS, and Quotes from RAMAS Reviews.

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Date modified: 4-10-2015