EEF 2019 | 15th EEF – European Ecological Federation Congress

Dynamic Energy Budget theory – A general metabolic theory for all life on Earth


Tiago Domingos | MARETEC/LARSyS, Instituto Superior Técnico

Tânia Sousa | MARETEC/LARSyS, Instituto Superior Técnico

Gonçalo M. Marques | MARETEC/LARSyS, Instituto Superior Técnico

Carlos M.G.L. Teixeira | MARETEC/LARSyS, Instituto Superior Técnico

Marcos Mateus | MARETEC/LARSyS, Instituto Superior Técnico



The Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory unifies the commonalities between organisms as prescribed by the implications of energetics, which links different levels of biological organisation (cells, organisms and populations). The theory presents simple process-based rules that describe the uptake and use of energy and nutrients (substrates, food, light) and the consequences for physiological organisation throughout an organism's life cycle, including the relationships of energetics with aging and effects of toxicants. All living organisms are covered in a single quantitative framework, the predictions of which are tested against a wide variety of experimental results at the various levels of biological organisation. The theory explains many general observations, such as the body size scaling relationships of certain physiological traits or the von Bertallanfy growth curve that a great number of organisms follow. It provides a theoretical underpinning to the modeling biology at the organism level.

This symposium will highlight the fundamental principles underlining DEB theory, examples of how the theory is being applied and may be applied and the educational initiatives taking place.


Short Presentations

DEB Theory: A Unified Theory for the Metabolism of Organisms
Tiago Domingos

Thermodynamics of Life in the Context of DEB Theory
Tânia Sousa

DEBecotox: modelling the effects of toxicants with a universal metabolic theory
Gonçalo M. Marques

Studying the life history of birds through the application of DEB theory
Carlos M.G.L. Teixeira

Potential applications of a DEB model in a finfish aquaculture
Marcos Mateus

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