Biodiversity: Assess and compare biodiversity on an exoplanet

Time to complete course: 30 min.

About Biodiversity: Assess and compare biodiversity on an exoplanet Virtual Lab Simulation

Wherever you look, nature is full of animals, plants and other organisms. In this simulation, you will learn basic methods to assess and compare biodiversity.

Explore the biodiversity on an exoplanet

No matter where you live, we can guarantee you that the organisms you will find in on the exoplanet Astakos IV will be alien and new to you! In this simulation, you will sample biodiversity in three different locations, from the desert lowlands to a forest in the mountains. Once back in the lab, you will use a dichotomous key to identify species, and compare the biodiversity between the three different sites.

Sample and identify organisms

In a virtual world, you can explore an entire planet without ever physically moving. In this virtual lab simulation, you get to explore three different biotopes to sample for biodiversity. In just 30 minutes you will learn how to collect and identify species. You can collect images with a camera trap and critters in a pitfall trap in a matter of minutes – something that would normally take hours or weeks to do!

Compare and asses biodiversity

At the end of the simulation, you will compare the biodiversity of the three different sites by using the biodiversity index. You will compare the elevational biodiversity gradient on the exoplanet with that found on earth. Will you be able to identify the alien species?

Get Started Now

Travel to the exoplanet Astakos IV and use ecological methods to assess and compare biodiversity over time and between different sites.

Techniques In Lab

  • Quadrat
  • Camera trap
  • Pitfall trap
  • Biodiversity index
  • Elevational biodiversity gradient

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…

  • Sample for biodiversity
  • Use Quadrat, camera trap and Pitfall traps
  • Assess and compare biodiversity using the biodiversity index.
  • Identify species with a dichotomous key
  • Prioritize sampling

Screenshots of Biodiversity: Assess and compare biodiversity on an exoplanetVirtual Lab Simulation


Dr. Michael Angilletta

School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University

How it works

A million dollar lab in your browser

Perform experiments in virtual lab simulations to achieve core science learning outcomes. 

All our simulations run on laptop and desktop computers, and you can play our simulations without having to install any browser plugins.

See detailed minimum requirements here.

Hundreds of hours of science learning content

Our virtual laboratory simulations are aimed at university, college and high school level, within fields such as biology, biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, chemistry, physics and more.

With access to our simulations, you will have hundreds of hours of engaging, high-quality learning content available to you.

Learn how you can use Labster in your science course

The simulation is already added to this package

Step 1: Choose your simulations

Find and select the simulations that you want to add to your course.

Step 2: Review simulation list

This is the list of simulations that will be added to your course. Click Download once you are ready.

No simulations added yet.
    Download the .zip file and upload it to your LMS.

    Download Common Cartridge File

    Choose your Learning Management System below:
    Generating download link. Please wait...
    Congratulations! You can now upload the .zip file into your LMS by the following these instructions:

    Simulation name

    Image container

    Learning Outcomes

    Learning outcomes container


    Techniques container

    Simulation Description

    Description container

    Are you sure you want to delete?

    Package deleted successfully

    IMPORTANT: Check the original email with instructions from your instructor to verify how you should gain access.

    Link Access

    Did you receive a link/URL to access Labster from your teacher? This is for either “Labster Direct” or “Quick Access”, and no login is required. See info below.

    School LMS

    Are you accessing Labster from your school’s LMS, such as Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle or Brightspace? Click below to read more.

    Course Code

    Did you receive a Course Code from your teacher? (this is different from a purchased voucher code. Learn how to access the Labster LMS, or log in below.
    IMPORTANT: Please check your original email to confirm the correct access option.

    Labster Direct / Quick Access

    Did you receive a link/URL to access simulations through the Labster Direct or Quick Access pages? If so, no login is required. See info below.

    Your LMS

    Are you accessing Labster from your school’s LMS, such as Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle or Brightspace? Click below to read more.


    Are you accessing Labster directly from the edX LMS? View more information here or click the button below to log in.

    Faculty Resources

    To access the Faculty Resources page (instructors only) and review Labster simulations, please log in below.
    Cookie Box Settings