Academic Appointments


All Publications


  • Distinct genomic architecture of Plasmodium falciparum populations from South Asia. Molecular and biochemical parasitology Kumar, S., Mudeppa, D. G., Sharma, A., Mascarenhas, A., Dash, R., Pereira, L., Shaik, R. B., Maki, J. N., White, J., Zuo, W., Tuljapurkar, S., Duraisingh, M. T., Gomes, E., Chery, L., Rathod, P. K. 2016

    Abstract

    Previous whole genome comparisons of Plasmodium falciparum populations have not included collections from the Indian subcontinent, even though two million Indians contract malaria and about 50,000 die from the disease every year. Stratification of global parasites has revealed spatial relatedness of parasite genotypes on different continents. Here, genomic analysis was further improved to obtain country-level resolution by removing var genes and intergenic regions from distance calculations. P. falciparum genomes from India were found to be most closely related to each other. Their nearest neighbors were from Bangladesh and Myanmar, followed by Thailand. Samples from the rest of Southeast Asia, Africa and South America were increasingly more distant, demonstrating a high-resolution genomic-geographic continuum. Such genome stratification approaches will help monitor variations of malaria parasites within South Asia and future changes in parasite populations that may arise from in-country and cross-border migrations.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.molbiopara.2016.07.005

    View details for PubMedID 27457272

  • A Life-History Approach to the Late Pleistocene Megafaunal Extinction AMERICAN NATURALIST Zuo, W., Smith, F. A., Charnov, E. L. 2013; 182 (4): 524-531

    Abstract

    A major criticism of the "overkill" theory for the late Pleistocene extinction in the Americas has been the seeming implausibility of a relatively small number of humans selectively killing off millions of large-bodied mammals. Critics argue that early Paleoindian hunters had to be extremely selective to have produced the highly size-biased extinction pattern characteristic of this event. Here, we derive a probabilistic extinction model that predicts the extinction risk of mammals at any body mass without invoking selective human harvest. The new model systematically analyzes the variability in life-history characteristics, such as the instantaneous mortality rate, age of first reproduction, and the maximum net reproductive rate. It captures the body size-biased extinction pattern in the late Pleistocene and precisely predicts the percentage of unexpectedly persisting large mammals and extinct small ones. A test with a global late Quaternary mammal database well supports the model. The model also emphasizes that quantitatively analyzing patterns of variability in ecological factors can shed light on diverse behaviors and patterns in nature. From a macro-scale conservation perspective, our model can be modified to predict the fate of biota under the pressures from both climate change and human impacts.

    View details for DOI 10.1086/671995

    View details for Web of Science ID 000327901800028

    View details for PubMedID 24021404

  • The Macroecology of Sustainability PLOS BIOLOGY Burger, J. R., Allen, C. D., Brown, J. H., Burnside, W. R., Davidson, A. D., Fristoe, T. S., Hamilton, M. J., Mercado-Silva, N., Nekola, J. C., Okie, J. G., Zuo, W. 2012; 10 (6)

    Abstract

    The discipline of sustainability science has emerged in response to concerns of natural and social scientists, policymakers, and lay people about whether the Earth can continue to support human population growth and economic prosperity. Yet, sustainability science has developed largely independently from and with little reference to key ecological principles that govern life on Earth. A macroecological perspective highlights three principles that should be integral to sustainability science: 1) physical conservation laws govern the flows of energy and materials between human systems and the environment, 2) smaller systems are connected by these flows to larger systems in which they are embedded, and 3) global constraints ultimately limit flows at smaller scales. Over the past few decades, decreasing per capita rates of consumption of petroleum, phosphate, agricultural land, fresh water, fish, and wood indicate that the growing human population has surpassed the capacity of the Earth to supply enough of these essential resources to sustain even the current population and level of socioeconomic development.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001345

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305945600007

    View details for PubMedID 22723741

  • Insights into plant size-density relationships from models and agricultural crops PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Deng, J., Zuo, W., Wang, Z., Fan, Z., Ji, M., Wang, G., Ran, J., Zhao, C., Liu, J., Niklas, K. J., Hammond, S. T., Brown, J. H. 2012; 109 (22): 8600-8605

    Abstract

    There is general agreement that competition for resources results in a tradeoff between plant mass, M, and density, but the mathematical form of the resulting thinning relationship and the mechanisms that generate it are debated. Here, we evaluate two complementary models, one based on the space-filling properties of canopy geometry and the other on the metabolic basis of resource use. For densely packed stands, both models predict that density scales as M(-3/4), energy use as M(0), and total biomass as M(1/4). Compilation and analysis of data from 183 populations of herbaceous crop species, 473 stands of managed tree plantations, and 13 populations of bamboo gave four major results: (i) At low initial planting densities, crops grew at similar rates, did not come into contact, and attained similar mature sizes; (ii) at higher initial densities, crops grew until neighboring plants came into contact, growth ceased as a result of competition for limited resources, and a tradeoff between density and size resulted in critical density scaling as M(-0.78), total resource use as M(-0.02), and total biomass as M(0.22); (iii) these scaling exponents are very close to the predicted values of M(-3/4), M(0), and M(1/4), respectively, and significantly different from the exponents suggested by some earlier studies; and (iv) our data extend previously documented scaling relationships for trees in natural forests to small herbaceous annual crops. These results provide a quantitative, predictive framework with important implications for the basic and applied plant sciences.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1205663109

    View details for Web of Science ID 000304881700052

    View details for PubMedID 22586097

  • A general model for effects of temperature on ectotherm ontogenetic growth and development PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES Zuo, W., Moses, M. E., West, G. B., Hou, C., Brown, J. H. 2012; 279 (1734): 1840-1846

    Abstract

    The temperature size rule (TSR) is the tendency for ectotherms to develop faster but mature at smaller body sizes at higher temperatures. It can be explained by a simple model in which the rate of growth or biomass accumulation and the rate of development have different temperature dependence. The model accounts for both TSR and the less frequently observed reverse-TSR, predicts the fraction of energy allocated to maintenance and synthesis over the course of development, and also predicts that less total energy is expended when developing at warmer temperatures for TSR and vice versa for reverse-TSR. It has important implications for effects of climate change on ectothermic animals.

    View details for DOI 10.1098/rspb.2011.2000

    View details for Web of Science ID 000301981300023

    View details for PubMedID 22130604

  • Rensch's Rule in Large Herbivorous Mammals Derived from Metabolic Scaling AMERICAN NATURALIST Sibly, R. M., Zuo, W., Kodric-Brown, A., Brown, J. H. 2012; 179 (2): 169-177

    Abstract

    Rensch's rule, which states that the magnitude of sexual size dimorphism tends to increase with increasing body size, has evolved independently in three lineages of large herbivorous mammals: bovids (antelopes), cervids (deer), and macropodids (kangaroos). This pattern can be explained by a model that combines allometry, life-history theory, and energetics. The key features are that female group size increases with increasing body size and that males have evolved under sexual selection to grow large enough to control these groups of females. The model predicts relationships among body size and female group size, male and female age at first breeding, death and growth rates, and energy allocation of males to produce body mass and weapons. Model predictions are well supported by data for these megaherbivores. The model suggests hypotheses for why some other sexually dimorphic taxa, such as primates and pinnipeds (seals and sea lions), do or do not conform to Rensh's rule.

    View details for DOI 10.1086/663686

    View details for Web of Science ID 000299000400006

    View details for PubMedID 22218307

  • Growth, mortality, and life-history scaling across species EVOLUTIONARY ECOLOGY RESEARCH Charnov, E. L., Zuo, W. 2011; 13 (6): 661-664
  • Human hunting mortality threshold rules for extinction in mammals (and fish) EVOLUTIONARY ECOLOGY RESEARCH Charnov, E. L., Zuo, W. 2011; 13 (4): 431-437
  • Energetic Limits to Economic Growth BIOSCIENCE Brown, J. H., Burnside, W. R., Davidson, A. D., DeLong, J. P., Dunn, W. C., Hamilton, M. J., Mercado-Silva, N., Nekola, J. C., Okie, J. G., Woodruff, W. H., Zuo, W. 2011; 61 (1): 19-26
  • Response to Comments on "Energy Uptake and Allocation During Ontogeny" SCIENCE Zuo, W., Moses, M. E., Hou, C., Woodruff, W. H., West, G. B., Brown, J. H. 2009; 325 (5945)
  • Energy Uptake and Allocation During Ontogeny SCIENCE Hou, C., Zuo, W., Moses, M. E., Woodruff, W. H., Brown, J. H., West, G. B. 2008; 322 (5902): 736-739

    Abstract

    All organisms face the problem of how to fuel ontogenetic growth. We present a model, empirically grounded in data from birds and mammals, that correctly predicts how growing animals allocate food energy between synthesis of new biomass and maintenance of existing biomass. Previous energy budget models have typically had their bases in rates of either food consumption or metabolic energy expenditure. Our model provides a framework that reconciles these two approaches and highlights the fundamental principles that determine rates of food assimilation and rates of energy allocation to maintenance, biosynthesis, activity, and storage. The model predicts that growth and assimilation rates for all animals should cluster closely around two universal curves. Data for mammals and birds of diverse body sizes and taxa support these predictions.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1162302

    View details for Web of Science ID 000260605200047

    View details for PubMedID 18974352

  • GeoSVM: an efficient and effective tool to predict species' potential distributions JOURNAL OF PLANT ECOLOGY Zuo, W., Lao, N., Geng, Y., Ma, K. 2008; 1 (2): 143-145

    View details for DOI 10.1093/jpe/rtn005

    View details for Web of Science ID 000265790100008

  • Revisiting a model of ontogenetic growth: Estimating model parameters from theory and data AMERICAN NATURALIST Moses, M. E., Hou, C., Woodruff, W. H., West, G. B., Nekola, J. C., Zuo, W., Brown, J. H. 2008; 171 (5): 632-645

    Abstract

    The ontogenetic growth model (OGM) of West et al. provides a general description of how metabolic energy is allocated between production of new biomass and maintenance of existing biomass during ontogeny. Here, we reexamine the OGM, make some minor modifications and corrections, and further evaluate its ability to account for empirical variation on rates of metabolism and biomass in vertebrates both during ontogeny and across species of varying adult body size. We show that the updated version of the model is internally consistent and is consistent with other predictions of metabolic scaling theory and empirical data. The OGM predicts not only the near universal sigmoidal form of growth curves but also the M(1/4) scaling of the characteristic times of ontogenetic stages in addition to the curvilinear decline in growth efficiency described by Brody. Additionally, the OGM relates the M(3/4) scaling across adults of different species to the scaling of metabolic rate across ontogeny within species. In providing a simple, quantitative description of how energy is allocated to growth, the OGM calls attention to unexplained variation, unanswered questions, and opportunities for future research.

    View details for DOI 10.1086/587073

    View details for Web of Science ID 000255212900009

    View details for PubMedID 18419571