Centre for Geometric Biology
Geometric biology allows us to understand the dynamics of how living things convert energy flows into mass, at all scales of biological organisation.
The size and shape (together, the ‘geometry’) of organisms ultimately determine these flows.
The Geometric Theory of Biology allows us to predict how things function, grow, and change; be they tumours, schools of fish, or whole forests.
The Centre for Geometric Biology is developing and testing a new theory for how and why organisms grow. Our particular focus is on how the net flux of energy (the energy acquired through food, photosynthesis, or chemosynthesis minus the energy lost to metabolism) changes with size, whether it be cell size or total body size.
Our prediction is that organismal size is ultimately governed by a combination of mechanistic constraints and evolutionary optimisation within those constraints, and that changes in the net flux of energy dictate patterns of organismal growth, reproduction, disease resistance, and environmental tolerance.
We are using a range of approaches and systems to test these predictions. For example we work on yeast, bacteria, phytoplankton and animals. We use artificial selection, experimental evolution, ecological experiments, comparative analyses and theoretical models, as well as different types of bioenergetics measurements to explore a wide range of specific questions about organismal growth.