Comparative biomechanics and scaling

I have an interest that I’d really like to develop more on how physical processes influence the selection pressures on individuals. That is, how does our understanding of the physics of for example heat transfer, or stress-strain properties of materials help us to understand the diversity of organisms we find around us. I am particularly interested on what factors limit maximal organismal size across different animal groups. Linked to this, I’m interested in how organism size influences how much energy can be gathered and how it is spent. The person who listens most patiently to my ideas on this is Stuart Humphries in Hull, although Dave Wilkinson is increasingly sharing the load.


Some prepresentative papers:

Ruxton 2011 Why are whales big? Nature 469, 481

Ruxton GD, Humphries S 2008 Can ecological and evolutionary arguments solve the riddle of the missing marine insects. Marine Ecology 29, 72-75

Ruxton GD, Bailey DM 2005 Searching speeds and the energetic feasibility of an obligate whale-scavenging fish. Deep Sea Research Part 1, 52, 1536-1541

Ruxton GD, Houston DC Obligate vertebrate scavengers must be large soaring fliers. Journal of Theoretical Biology 228, 431-438

Hilton GM, Hansell MH, Ruxton GD, Reid JM, Monaghan P 2004  Using artificial nests to test importance of nesting material and nest shelter for incubation energetics. Auk 121, 777-787