How do we predict the multifarious responses of nature to environmental change when funds for global conservation are limited? How do we predict the speed of growth, reproduction and energy consumption by diverse organisms worldwide, and their impacts on the environment? Intriguingly, the vital rates of organisms ranging from microbes to the largest whales can be roughly predicted using rules about how body size and temperature affect the flow of energy and resources through organisms: termed the metabolic scaling approach. Laura's PhD will explore how the inclusion of an organism’s fourth dimension – its biological “timescale” (generation time or length of life) can help explain much more about the rates of life.
Laura is supervised by David Atkinson, Stephen Cornell and Andrew Hirst (all at the University of Liverpool), as well as by Lev Ginzburg (Stony Brook University).
Aquatic ecosystems have a profound impact on humankind and the biosphere, and can provide critical insight into biological questions. Using marine and freshwater organisms our research aims to mechanistically understand and predict rules of physiology and ecology. We examine physiology, vital rates and ocean biogeochemistry, including assessing the impacts of climate change. In our work we use diverse approaches including meta-analysis, experimentation, fieldwork and modelling.