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A talk given in the MMU Big Data Centrem, 30th October 2018.
Both social and ecological systems can be highly complex, but the interaction between these two worlds - a socio-ecological system (SES) - can add even greater levels. However, the maintenance of SES are vital to our well being and the health of the planet. We do not know how such systems work in practice and we lack good data about them (especially the ecological side) so predicting the effect of any particular policy is infeasible. Here we present an approach which tries to understand some of the ways in which SES may go wrong, but constructing different complex simulation models and analysing the emergent outcomes. These, in silico, examples can allow for the institution of targeted data gathering instruments that give the earliest possible warning of deleterious outcomes, and thus allow for timely remedial responses. An example of this approach applied to fisheries is described.