March 16, 2020

Metabolic scaling, brain size, pace of life history, and the rise of hyper-dense cities

Robbie Burger, University of Arizona

Metabolic scaling provides a universal theoretical framework to evaluate the life history trade-offs and population consequences across the tree of life. In this talk I will present new research applying metabolic scaling theory to brain size and the pace of living in birds and mammals. I will then present new extensions of metabolic scaling to understand the non-linear trade-offs in growth and mortality and size and number of offspring across animals. I will end by applying metabolic scaling to understanding the unique exta-metabolic energy use of modern humans that has led to the unprecedented rise in human hyper-density with implications for cultural evolution and rapid global change.