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Clemson Scientists ­nveil Software That Revolutionizes Wildlife Habitat Connectivity Modeling

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GFlow will enable scientists to solve ecological problems that span large landscapes.

Computational software for wildlife habitat connectivity modeling has been developed by researchers at Clemson University.

Credit: Paul Leonard/Clemson University

Clemson University researchers have developed GFlow, computational software for wildlife habitat connectivity modeling.

Clemson postdoctoral fellow Paul Leonard says GFlow "is more than 170 times faster than any previously existing software, removing limitations in resolution and scale and providing users with a level of quality that will be far more effective in presenting the complexities of landscape networks." Leonard notes GFlow is the result of eight years of research and development.

Software available for ecologists was poorly conceived in terms of speed and memory usage, according to lead GFlow developer Edward Duffy. A computational scientist who recently joined BMW, Duffy rewrote the code from scratch, reduced individual calculations from about 30 minutes to three seconds, and significantly reduced the amount of memory generated by the program.

Duffy says GFlow is most efficient when used in conjunction with a supercomputer, but it functions in a more limited capacity on desktop computers. He notes the software is designed to help monitor the movement of animal populations, but it also could be used to model the spread of disease.

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