B.S., Animal Ecology, Iowa State University M. S. Entomology, Iowa State University Ph.D., Entomology, University of California, Berkeley
- My main research focus is insect biodemography (i.e. the marriage of biology and demography) with special emphasis on aging and lifespan. The graduate students (Amy Morice; James Harwood) in my laboratory and many of the research scientists with whom I collaborate use insects as models to address questions concerned with lifespan limits, the male-female longevity gap, dietary restriction, aging in wild populations, the effects of anti-aging drugs on longevity, morbidity and mortality dynamics, and the effects of behavior throughout the life course on survival and mortality. The majority of this research is supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging. The first and longest running is Exceptional longevity in fruit flies, a research project within the Duke University-based program project (P01) titled Exceptional Longevity that is directed by James Vaupel, Executive Director of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany. The second research project is Aging in the Wild, part of the UC Davis-based program project (P01) that I direct titled Biodemographic Determinants of Lifespan and with co-directors Shripad Tuljapurkar (Stanford) and Kenneth Wachter (UC Berkeley). I fund collaborative research projects in Greece (medflies in Chios Island; Thessaloniki; Volos), Mexico (Mexflies in Tapachula), and Uganda (butterflies in Kibale National Park) and we are preparing to start at new program on the evolutionary ecology of medflies in Hawaii.
Areas of Emphasis