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Delong Delivers Lecture on Eco-evolutionary Body Size

VERMILLION, S.D. – John Delong, professor of biological sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, delivered a lecture titled “Eco-evolutionary dynamics and the evolution of body size,” at the University of South Dakota campus April 3.

Delong, whose research has spanned from raptors to wolf spiders, studies how mechanical influences affect body size in predator-prey relationships.

“Obviously, bigger predators eat bigger prey, but when you change the body size, you change how the community interacts,” said Delong.

Delong hopes his research will create a better understanding of how environmental factors influence growth and eventually evolutionary change.

“All organisms demand resources and the environment supplies those resources. The amount demanded increases as organisms grow,” said Delong.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.