Document Type

Lesson Plan

Publication Date

Summer 2015


This computational model of lionfish ecology allows students to explore the effects of introducing an invasive species into a previously stable ecosystem. The stable ecosystem is represented by the coral reef habitat and clownfish population. When the lionfish are introduced, the students can graphically visualize the decline in clownfish population and subsequent destruction of the coral reef. By increasing the water temperature by 2 degrees, the students witness the increased reproductive fitness of the lionfish and resulting rapid decline in clownfish population and the coral reef environment. The model generates data which is displayed graphically and used for mathematical modeling of population biology.

Tools used


Grade Level

High School