Special Issue: The ecological and evolutionary implications of allometry

This special issue aims to collate articles that investigate the ecological and evolutionary implications of biological scaling. Allometry—the study of proportional growth of body parts, and the relationship of body size to an organism’s morphology, physiology and behaviour—is a fundamental influencer of ecological and evolutionary diversity. Approaches to the study of allometry vary from studies on scaling across an individual's development (ontogeny allometry), across individuals at the same developmental stage (static allometry), and across species (evolutionary allometry). Despite multiple definitions of allometry, it is evident that an organism’s body size is a critical factor in shaping its biology, and as such biological scaling underpins biological diversity.

It includes research, reviews, perspectives, and methodology articles that highlight the role of coordinated growth and body size in the context of evolutionary and ecological processes. We considered submissions across a wide range of taxa in areas including but not limited to sexual selection, organismal interactions and coevolution, behaviour, adaptation, metabolic scaling, biodiversity and life history.

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  • Emma Sherratt

    Dr. Sherratt is an evolutionary biologist with a fascination for the shape of life. Her research investigates macroevolutionary patterns of morphological diversity to understand the historical factors responsible for biodiversity. Dr. Sherratt specialises in applying morphometrics and digital imaging to characterise morphological variation and applies this to a wide range of metazoans, including reptiles and amphibians, mammals, beetles and molluscs.

  • Chrissie Painting

    Dr. Painting is a behavioural ecologist and entomologist specialising in arthropod mating systems. She uses insects and arachnids to understand patterns of species diversity with a particular focus on the evolution of exaggerated animal traits including extreme mating behaviours, weapons and ornaments. Dr. Painting uses multiple approaches including field and lab experiments, molecular phylogenetics, statistical modelling and morphometrics, microCT xray reconstructions, digital imaging, and comparative evolution techniques. She tends to choose non-model species to address evolutionary problems.

  • Erin L. McCullough

    Dr. McCullough is an evolutionary biologist and behavioural ecologist whose research aims to understand patterns of morphological and behavioural diversity. She specialises in studying the evolution of reproductive traits and uses diverse and integrated approaches to explore the evolutionary forces that give rise to biodiversity at different levels of biological organisation - from proteins to structures to populations to species.

Articles (15 in this collection)