I wrote this program to illustrate allele divergence, which is useful as an introduction to speciation.  The program is intended for the students to work through.  I wrote the code myself, and for that reason I would love to get some feedback from anyone willing to give it.  What’s good?  What’s awful?  Idea for additions?  Also, please feel free to use!

A video describing how to use the model is on my YouTube channel:

The model is written for NetLogo:

And the code for the model is on my website, but here is a direct link:

Thanks in advance!  Michael


v. 1.2



6 thoughts on “AlloSpec”

  1. For what kind of data collection are you looking? I suppose the answer is no, but I imagine adding a data table for output wouldn’t be terribly hard for a later version.

    The process of building the model was a bit of an ordeal. I have a background in computers, but it is mostly hardware. I have taken some logic courses (a while ago) but I have virtually no experience in programming. It took me approximately 15 work hours to make the model, and I didn’t start from scratch. I spent a lot of time working by trial and error and reading a lot (a whole lot) from the NetLogo programming dictionary learning commands. I am also confident I could not teach anyone else how to do this yet. I know that someone with a programming background could probably do this with students, but I don’t know that the average teacher with no computing background would want to try and get into it. Certainly anyone can, but the time investment for someone just starting would be large and probably not worth the reward for most. It was a labor of love for me and I very much enjoyed the process, but it was a lot of work. Those who observed the process have said “I was down a rabbit hole for two days”.

    Thanks for the feedback Eric, I’ll think about how to add a data table or something. The difficulty is the massive amount of data that will accumulate in a data table. Any ideas of how to manage it?

  2. Okay, for those less adventerous without some more instruction, here is what you need to do:

    1) Click his NetLogo link and download the software that is appropriate to your machine’s operating system, and run the installation wizard.
    2) Click on his code link and download it as well.
    3) Then, watch the YouTube video to get some basic feel for what things will look like once you run the software.
    4) Finally, open the NewLogo software and from the File menu, open Michael’s code file that you downloaded. You should then be able to play around as he instructed on his YouTube video.

    Thanks again, Michael! It looks a bit like some of the activities in EcoBeaker.

    I would be interested in your sharing the process involved in your developing your abilites to write this code, etc… Is this something that other high school teachers could attempt? How long did it take for you to get to this level of skills to complete this task? What instruction would be necessary for an AP Biology or similar level students writing their own code to complete such a task?

  3. I have finally had time to begin to look at this. I have watched the YouTube video. Pretty intriguing! As I explore more, I will post more comments.

    Thanks for sharing Michael!

  4. Hey folks, be sure to check out Michael’s YouTube Channel…..there are a couple of videos that I think you’ll find interesting, inspiring and useful…..


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