Dynamic Energy Budget Theory

Dynamic Energy Budget Theory with Applications to Ecology and Ecotoxicology
Dynamic energy budget (DEB) theory is a powerful theoretical framework for relating suborganismal (biochemical, genetic, physiological) processes to organismal performance and, thereby, to populations and ecosystems. DEB theory is also a powerful tool for ecotoxicology, and has been recently used in models describing the impact of nanomaterials in the environment. Although mastering the details of the theory requires considerable time investment, the principles of mass and energy budgeting are straightforward and are widely appreciated by biologists.

DEB models describe the rates at which an organism assimilates energy and elemental matter from food and uses them for maintenance, growth, development, and reproduction. These physiological rates depend on the state of the organism (e.g., age, size, maturity) and its environment (e.g., food density, temperature, contaminants). Changes in physiological rates and fluxes of elemental matter impact population and ecosystem dynamics.

(Source: S.A.L.M. Kooijman. Dynamic Energy Budgets for Metabolic Organization. Cambridge University Press 2010.)

Lectures by Roger Nisbet
In early 2013, Dr. Roger Nisbet taught an online mini-course on DEB with applications to ecology and ecotoxicology.  The primary objective of these lectures is to introduce DEB principles in a maximally simple context. The theory is illustrated with examples involving toxicants in whales, the population dynamics of waterfleas, nanotoxicology in bacteria – and more.  To access the lectures, click on the corresponding image below.

Lecture 1: Overview: dynamic energy budgets from molecules to ecosystems. Dynamic Biomass Budgets

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Lecture 2: Limitations of biomass-based models. Motivation for DEB models. Kooijman’s DEB model

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Lecture 3: Kooijman’s DEB model – further details, including modeling fluxes of elemental matter

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Lecture 4: Applications of DEB theory to ecotoxicology and nanotoxicology

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