NicheMapper is a patented generic platform of our microclimate model integrated with our ectotherm and endotherm animal models. Collectively they allow us to compute the influence of any climate, shelter type, animal size and shape, reproductive timing, insulation properties and diet types on food and water requirements needed for different maintenance, growth and production levels as well as activity time and best local environments. It is being used globally by researchers working on mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects.

Dr.Warren Porter has been the lead researcher in Niche Mapper's development over the years. He collaborated with researchers nationally and internationally in mechanical and chemical engineering, biology and the digital arts to develop and test the models for terrestrial and marine environments.

The models have evolved over time to included extensive laboratory and field testing for deserts, forests, marshes, bogs, meadows and later extreme environments, such as Arabian deserts and polar ice. Representatives of animals modeled and tested include all the major groups of vertebrates and some invertebrates that carry disease or function as pollinators. Only recently have the models been applied to domestic animals and tested for the accuracy of their production calculations.



Microclimate Module

The microclimate module is based on the engineering and meteorological sciences and on field testing in Australia, Europe, Asia, North America and South America in sites ranging from desert to forest to bogs to alpine environments. Recent publications demonstrate a high degree of calculation accuracy (typically 1-2° C) above and below ground for local wind speeds, air and soil temperatures, humidities, sky and ground radiant temperatures and solar radiation input (Kearney et al.,2014; Fuentes and Porter, 2013; Huang et al., 2012; 2014).

microclimate image

Generic Endotherm Module

The generic animal module is similarly based on engineering, meteorological and biological sciences. It has been tested on all the major groups of vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals), pollinating butterflies and a species of disease carrying mosquito). The size range of mammals tested is literally from mice to elephants. It includes work on Arctic voles, weasels, desert spiny mice, and more than 15 other species of small mammal, the Japanese Serow deer, Arabian oryxes, cows, elk, polar bears and elephants. We have demonstrated the capacity to design animals in 3-D, animate them, do computational fluid dynamics on them to determine heat and mass transfer properties and locomotion costs. We have used the results of these simulations inserted into standard Niche Mapper animal models to determine landscape scale energetics, behavior, survival, growth and reproductive potential, habitat usage and distribution limits globally. This module uses output from the microclimate module as well as user supplied input data for the animal properties.

endotherm image

Generic Ectotherm Module

The generic animal module is similarly based on engineering, meteorological and biological sciences. It has been tested on all the major groups of vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals), pollinating butterflies and a species of disease carrying mosquito). The size range of mammals tested is literally from mice to elephants. It includes work on Arctic voles, weasels, desert spiny mice, and more than 15 other species of small mammal, the Japanese Serow deer, Arabian oryxes, cows, elk, polar bears and elephants. We have demonstrated the capacity to design animals in 3-D, animate them, do computational fluid dynamics on them to determine heat and mass transfer properties and locomotion costs. We have used the results of these simulations inserted into standard Niche Mapper animal models to determine landscape scale energetics, behavior, survival, growth and reproductive potential, habitat usage and distribution limits globally. This module uses output from the microclimate module as well as user supplied input data for the animal properties.

endotherm image