Big vs. Small: Using ratios to compare life history strategies


Organisms on Earth exhibit a staggering diversity of sizes: tetrapods range in mass from some of the tiniest frogs all the way to the blue whale. How can we compare these organisms in a meaningful way that goes beyond their differences in size? To study diversity in life history strategies across organisms with a range of body masses, my undergraduate research used dimensionless measures, or ratios. These ratios allowed me to look at differences in the ways amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals allocate resources to survival and reproduction. This strategy of using ratios to compare animals of vastly different sizes is also useful in neurobiology. By calculating brain to body mass ratios, rather than focusing on brain mass alone, we can study how different organisms allocate resources to their brains.

Apr 3, 2019
Brown Scholars Year 1 Visiting Presentation
New York, NY
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