Keast Lecture: The Thermodynamic Niche
16 May 2014
Dr Michael Kearney presents the 2014 Keast lecture: The Thermodynamic Niche - physiologically based models of climatic constraints on animals
Climate influences the distribution and abundance of terrestrial animals in a rich variety of ways. Most directly, however, it imposes thermodynamic constraints on heat, water and nutritional balances. The sum of these constraints can be thought of as defining the 'thermodynamic niche'.
Dr Kearney will discuss how the thermodynamic niche can be characterised using integrated models of the biophysics of animals and their microclimates, together with metabolic theory. He will show how the models can be coupled to weather and climate databases to predict constraints on animal survival, behaviour, phenology, growth, development and reproduction, and ultimately distribution limits.
Dr Michael Kearney is an alumnus of the School of Biological Sciences, having graduated with a PhD in 2004. He is now an Australian Research Fellow in the Department of Zoology at the University of Melbourne. Dr Kearney's work focuses on how climate impacts animals and the predicted impact of climate change on those same animals.
Time: 1-2pm, with lunch to follow
Contact: Cecily Oakley
Phone: 02 9351 4543