Campus News

Biologist will deliver keynote address at annual Odum Lecture

Renowned scientist James H. “Jim” Brown will be the keynote speaker at the annual Odum Lecture, sponsored by UGA’s Odum School of Ecology. Brown’s presentation, “Toward a Metabolic Theory of Ecology,” will begin at 12:30 p.m. 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 ecology school, will serve as moderator.
Panelists, in addition to Brown, include Sue Kilham, professor at Drexel University; Bernard Patten and Alan Covich, current professors at the Odum School as well as David Coleman, professor emeritus at the ecology 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.