Organisms have finite amounts of resources to use for growth, maintenance, survival and reproduction. Allocation of resources to any one of these functions reduces the amount available for any of the other functions. Such tradeoffs in resource allocation directly affect fitness, and therefore underlie the evolution of life histories. Knowledge of the physiological priorities that govern these allocation decisions within an individual enables a deeper understanding of constraints or limits on tradeoffs. While the study of life histories has been a prominent topic in evolutionary biology for many years, an individual-level perspective is still remarkably rare. Evolutionary biology typically examines tradeoffs at the population and species levels. In this project we are combining flow through respirometry with stable isotope ecology and bomb calorimetry to understand the physiology of tradeoffs between flight and fecundity and among body parts within an individual.
Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of the whole organism