Conservation interventions developed with little understanding of social system dynamics can result in simplistic and misguided approaches. More effective conservation, that seeks to influence the social drivers of ecological change, requires a more nuanced and predictive understanding of these drivers. In this paper we explore how ABMs and SNAs, separately and in tandem, could be useful for understanding the dynamics of structured information flow and examine the potential benefits of promoting a cross-over between the ecological and social sciences in conservation.
Understanding the structure of information flow in a group, using tools such as social network analysis, can offer important insights for conservation interventions which aim to change human behaviour. This review introduces conservation researchers and practitioners to key concepts underpinning information flows and complex contagions for interventions targeting networks of individuals.