Nicholas Magliocca

Ph.D. 2012
Geography & Environmental Systems
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
M.S., Duke University, 2008
Web page:

Agent based modeling, Land-use change

My research focuses on building a systemic understanding of coupled human-natural systems. In particular, I am interested in understanding how patterns of land-use and land-cover change emerge from human alterations of natural processes and the resulting feedbacks. Study systems of interest range from smallholder agricultural systems to those undergoing agricultural to urban conversion, typically known as urban sprawl.


Current projects include

  • The application of CHALMS - an agent-based model of urban growth - to understand how developer decision-making shapes housing offerings and their resulting environmental impacts
  • The development of an agent-based virtual laboratory to explore local human-environmental interactions through land-use globally.




Magliocca, N. R., D. G. Brown, and E. C. Ellis. 2013. Exploring Agricultural Livelihood Transitions with an Agent-Based Virtual Laboratory: Global Forces to Local Decision-Making. PLoS ONE 8:e73241. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0073241. [download] [blog post: Exploring Land-Livelihood Transitions]

Magliocca, N.R., McConnell, V., Walls, M., and Safirova, E. (2012). Zoning on the Urban Fringe: Results from a New Approach to Modeling Land and Housing Markets. Regional Science and Urban Economics, 42: 198-210.

Magliocca, N.R. (2011) “Exploring Coupled Housing and Land Market Interactions Through an Economic Agent-Based Model (CHALMS)”. In Spatial Agent-based Models: Principles, Concepts and Applications, Heppenstall, A.; Crooks, A.; Batty, M. (Eds.). Berlin: Springer-Verlag (in press)

Magliocca, N.R., Safirova, E., McConnell, V., and Walls, M. (2011). An economic agent-based model of coupled housing and land markets (CHALMS). Computers, Environment, and Urban Systems, 35(3): 183-191.

Magliocca, N.R., McNamara, D., and Murray, A.B. (2011). Long-term, large-scale morphodynamic effects of artificial dune construction along a barrier island coastline. Journal of Coastal Research, 27(5): 918-930.

Magliocca, N.R. (2008). Induced coupling: An approach to modeling and managing complex human-landscape interactions. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 25(5): 655-651.