Next week, EXEB postdoc Viktor Nilsson-Örtman will give a talk about his PhD-research at Umeå University and his subsequent research at Toronto University (Canada), where he has been a VR-funded postdoc in the laboratory of Locke Rowe. Although Viktor primarily studies damselfly larvae, the topic is a very general one that should be of interest to most EXEB members.
When: Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Where: "Argumentet", 2nd floor (Ecology Building)
Beyond the log-log plot: toward a life history theory of metabolic scaling
Allometric scaling rules are common in biology, but it remains unclear to what extent they reflect fundamental biophysical constraints or natural selection. Two famous examples are the mass-scaling of metabolism (Kleiber’s law) and the temperature-scaling of biological rate traits (the Universal Temperature Dependence). One problem with studies of biological scaling is that they have been performed at the between-species level, even though natural selection can only act within species. By sampling European and North American damselflies over continental scales and performing common garden experiments within a quantitative genetic framework, my work has revealed striking - but previously unrecognized - variation in the size- and temperature-scaling of growth and metabolism at the level where natural selection can act. In addition, through common garden experiments, I have tried to understand the consequences of this variation with respect to ecological interactions, environmental variability and species’ life histories. In this talk, I will try to summarize the main findings from my recent and ongoing work on these topics.