Research

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Clickable word cloud summary of our research interests based on paper abstracts

 

Research in our lab revolves around fundamental questions in biology: Why do organisms age? How do they choose mates? More specifically, we are interested in the biology of ageing, the evolution of life histories and sexual selection. These questions are often intimately linked: for example, to understand sexual dimorphism in longevity, one has to combine evolutionary theory of ageing with sexual selection theory. We used to work on a variety of different organisms: nematodes, beetles, fruitflies, birds and humans, since our research is generally driven by the question rather than by the organism. Much of this work involves experimental studies in laboratory with small, fast-reproducing creatures but we also use privately or publicly available databases when it comes to populations of wild animals or humans.

The main focus of our current research is the biology of ageing, which is a fundamental and, as yet, unresolved issue in biology. We pursue this line of research both theoretically and empirically using experimental evolution, mutants, RNAi gene silencing, next-generation sequencing, behavioural assays and long-term studies of natural populations. Currently we are very interested in i) the developmental theory of ageing, and the relative importance of energy trade-offs versus function trade-offs in the evolution of ageing ; ii) the role of condition-dependent mortality in the evolution of ageing; and iii) sex-differences in ageing and lifespan.

Selected Publications:

MI Lind, S Ravindran, Z Sekajova, H Carlsson, A Hinas, AA Maklakov (2019) Experimentally reduced insulin/IGF‐1 signaling in adulthood extends lifespan of parents and improves Darwinian fitness of their offspring. Evolution Letters, 3 (2), 207-216, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/evl3.108

Zajitschek F, Georgolopoulos G, Vourlou A, Ericsson M, Zajitschek SRK, Friberg U, and Maklakov AA (2018) Evolution under dietary restriction decouples survival from fecundity in Drosophila melanogaster females. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences, gly070, https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/gly070

Alavioon G, Hotzy C, Nakhro K, Rudolf S, Scofield DG, Zajitschek S, Maklakov AA, Immler S (2017) Haploid selection within a single ejaculate increases offspring fitness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 114:8053–8058, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1705601114

Maklakov AA, Carlsson H, Denbaum P, Lind MI, Mautz B, Hinas A and Immler S (2017) Antagonistically pleiotropic allele increases lifespan and late-life reproduction at the cost of early-life reproduction and individual fitness. Proceedings of the Royal Society London B, 284:20170376 PDF

Maklakov AA and Immler S (2016) The Expensive Germline and the Evolution of Ageing. Current Biology, 26, R577-R586 PDF

Chen H-y and Maklakov AA. (2012) Longer lifespan evolves under high condition-dependent mortality. Current Biology 22: 2140-2143 PDF

Maklakov AA, Hall MD, Simpson SJ, Dessmann J, Clissold, F, Zajitschek F, Lailvaux SP, Raubenhimer D, Bonduriansky R and Brooks RC. 2009. Sex differences in nutrient-dependent reproductive ageing. Aging Cell 8: 324-330. PDF

Maklakov AA, Simpson SJ, Dessmann J, Clissold, F, Hall MD, Zajitschek F, Raubenhimer D, Bonduriansky R, Brooks RC. 2008. Sex-specific fitness effects of nutrient intake on reproduction and lifespan. Current Biology 18: 1062-1066. PDF

 

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