Biologist James H. Brown to speak at 23rd annual UGA Odum Lecture

Biologist James H. Brown to speak at 23rd annual UGA Odum Lecture

Athens, Ga. – Renowned scientist James H. (Jim) Brown will be the keynote speaker at the annual Odum Lecture, sponsored by the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology. Brown’s presentation, “Toward a Metabolic Theory of Ecology,” will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25 in the ecology building auditorium.

“Metabolic theory makes predictions about how attributes of organisms, especially body size and temperature, affect ecological processes,” said Brown. “My research has important implications for the sustainability of fisheries and marine ecosystems and also the effects of global warming.”

A public panel discussion about metabolic ecology will be held at 3:30 p.m. in the ecology auditorium. John Gittleman, dean of the Odum School of Ecology, will serve as moderator. Panelists, in addition to Brown, include David Coleman, professor emeritus at the Odum School; Alan Covich, professor at the Odum School; Sue Kilham, professor at Drexel University; and Bernard Patten, professor at the Odum School.

Brown is a Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of New Mexico. He is known for his long-term studies in the Chihuahuan Desert near Portal, Ariz., his research on biogeography and macroecology, and his theoretical work on biological scaling and metabolism.

Gittleman, who will introduce the lecture, said, “The science of ecology is in search of a theory analogous to natural selection theory that serves the science of evolution. Although it is premature, Jim Brown’s metabolic theory has the potential to unify the science of ecology and give it an all-encompassing theory.”

Brown is the recipient of several honors and awards, including election to the National Academy of Sciences, the Odum Award for teaching and the MacArthur Award for research from the Ecological Society of America. He has trained numerous undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral associates, many of whom hold influential positions in academia, non-governmental organizations, government agencies and the private sector.

“In addition to cutting edge science, Jim Brown has educated and mentored a new generation of ecologists,” said Gittleman. “It is an honor to have him deliver this year’s Odum Lecture.”

Honoring the late Eugene P. Odum, founder of the Odum School of Ecology, the annual Odum Lecture series is permanently funded through an endowment created by friends, colleagues, and former students. With the exception of 2005, the lecture has been held every year since 1984.

With roots that date back to the 1950s, the UGA Odum School of Ecology offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as a certification program. Founder Eugene P. Odum is recognized internationally as a pioneer of ecosystem ecology. The school is ranked eighth by U.S. News and World Report for its graduate program. The Odum School is the first standalone school of ecology in the world. For more information, visit http://www.ecology.uga.edu.