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Welcome to DEBwiki, the wiki for all things DEB.

DEB theory

DEB stands for Dynamic Energy Budget. "Dynamic" means that the full life cycle of an individual (micro-organism, plant, or animal) is followed in a changing environment. DEB theory deals with the processes of "Energy" uptake and use, but also with mass, including stoichiometric constraints and isotopes. "Budget" means that balances are respected explicitly. 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 mechanistic 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, and provides a theoretical underpinning to the widely used method of indirect calorimetry. See also the DEB theory article on Wikipedia.

Upcoming events and courses

If you consider a possible participation in an up-coming DEB course, which is not open yet for registration, for yourself or persons working with you, we suggest that you complete the form for expressing your interest without any obligations; you will receive an email when the registration opens. We will announce the events also on Facebook and Twitter.

Event Location Dates
Summer school "Dynamic modelling of toxic effects" Denmark 10-19 Aug 2020 NOTE: due to the COVID-19 situation, the 2020 course has been cancelled.
DEB 2021 tele-course, School & Symposium Halifax, Canada spring 2021 Tentative location for the DEB2021 edition is Canada. More information will be added closer to the event.
short GUTS courses Wageningen, the Netherlands dates to be announced, probably 2021 onwards Dedicated 2-day GUTS courses, geared towards professionals in risk assessment of pesticides. More information.

See here for all events


Debnet logo.png
DEBnet is a network of DEB experts in a wide range of fields: Aquaculture, Mathematics, Ecotoxicology, Economics, Ecology ...


DEB literature and publications span from:
  • introductory material in form of posters and micro-lectures;
  • complete DEB immersion via book (DEB3) with accompanying summary of concepts, notation document, and frequently updated Comments; to
  • scientific publications using or focusing on DEB theory, collected in the Zotero DEB library.
  • Several (scientific) journal special issues have been dedicated to DEB theory.

For a full list of resources and special issues see here.

Communication and outreach

Other on-line places to find DEB: AmP on ResearchGate,AmP on Facebook, AmP on Twitter.

Subscribe to the DEB mailing list here: (allows you to receive and send scientific information and job offers within the DEB community)


Add-my-pet is akin to an online library, but with added features. It contains referenced data, implied properties of species, and DEB parameter estimates and code for obtaining them.

Most useful links:

  • Add-my-pet portal. Navigate through the pages of the collection, look at plotted energy budgets and parameter patterns. Learn more about the aims, research, and applications. Meet the people involved, find (or add) your name to the contributors list.
  • AmPtool description. This page describes how to use AmPtool for analysis of data. AmPtool contains Matlab functions for analysis of patterns in (functions of) parameter values of the Add-my-Pet collection. It is an extension of DEBtool_M and makes frequent use of it.
  • AmPeco extension. Listed here you can find coding that is used in the AmP collection to specify climate, ecozone, habitat, embryo environment, migration/torpor, food, gender, and reproduction for each AmP entry. Codes can be used for linking ecological properties to DEB parameters. Scripts are still under development.


DEBlab logo.png
DEBlab is a site that points to material that may be useful for research and education purposes. It aims to facilitate the application of the theory, and to stimulate collaboration. See the original site on DEBlab

Here you can find short descriptions and links to packages such as DEBtool, AmPtool, NicheMapR, DEBtox, DEBibm, PlotReader.

Data libraries based on DEB: Add_my_pet, Debber, Phyto_pars.

Micro-lectures and some course materials, as well as additional learning resources.

DEBtool is a software package that can be used to illustrate some implications of the Dynamic Energy Budget theory and to apply this theory in the analysis of eco-physiological data. Download the latest version from GitHub. Browse DEBtool Manual

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