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Changing lanes: can we reconcile the ways we measure reproduction so we can make meaningful comparisons across animal species?

Reproduction is perhaps the only truly unambiguous measure of fitness and yet we measure it in different ways. PhD student, Sam Ginther, is interested in the energetic costs of reproduction and wondered how feasible it would be to collate reproduction data for a wide range of species. Could he translate the existing data into a consistent and biologically relevant measure of reproductive mass per year?

Avoiding growing pains in reproductive trait databases: the curse of dimensionality

Published in Global Ecology and Biogeography.

Carry-over effects and fitness trade-offs in marine life histories: The costs of complexity for adaptation

Published in Evolutionary Applications.

The Conversation: Why are bigger animals more energy-efficient? A new answer to a centuries-old biological puzzle

When biologists try to unravel deep mysteries of life, we too tend to reach for physics. But our new research shows physics may not always have the answers to questions of biology.

Metabolic scaling is the product of life-history optimization

Published in Science.

When is a change for the better?

Emily Richardson and supervisors Dustin Marshall and Craig White test Earl Werner’s theory that switching phases maximises growth rate, resulting in greater fitness for species with complex development.

Travelling in time: an experimental evolution experiment challenges what we thought we knew about size and the cost of production.

Researchers from the Centre of Geometric Biology leverage Richard Lenski’s 34-year, 60,000-generation Escherichia coli evolution experiment to examine intraspecific metabolic scaling and correlations with demographic parameters.

Long-term experimental evolution decouples size and production costs in Escherichia coli

Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

A comparative analysis testing Werner’s theory of complex life cycles

Published in Functional Ecology.

Winners and losers: how does metabolic rate affect the outcomes of competition?

Lukas Schuster, Craig White and Dustin Marshall investigate the relationships between metabolic rate and competitive interactions in the field.

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Monash University

University of Oxford

Centre national de la recherche scientifique