Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Marc Mangel, Ph.D.

University of California, Santa Cruz

The evolutionary ecology of offspring number and investment

Wednesday — May 30, 2012
Pacific Forum — 3:00 p.m.

The formal study of offspring number (clutch size) continues to be of interest because empirical tests of life history theory have revealed complexity in allocation strategies across a range of taxonomic groups. This talk will explore two well-developed lines of thinking and explain how state dependent life history theory allows precision to be connected to the concepts. The dynamics of offspring number is the study of how limited resources of fixed size (eggs) are predicted to be distributed over time in response to ecological and physiological conditions. The statistics of maternal investment is the study of how limited resources (maternal reserves) are distributed among offspring during a single reproductive event. Dr. Mangel will review predictions and experimental tests of these theories and then explain why it is required to unite these two lines of investigation in order to predict dynamics of both offspring number and maternal investment and how that is done.

Dr. Marc Mangel is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics at UCSC and Director of the Center for Stock Assessment Research (CSTAR), which is a training program, jointly between UCSC and the NOAA Fisheries Laboratory in Santa Cruz, for students and post-doctoral colleagues so that they can learn the quantitative methods needed for ecosystem based fishery management and thus improve the sustainability of fisheries in the U.S. and world-wide. Dr. Mangel is also Adjunct Professor in the Theoretical Ecology Group at the University of Bergen, Norway and connected to the Theoretical Population Ecology and Evolution Group in Lund University, which also blogs on an equation of the month.


Next: June 13—Victoria Orphan, PhD