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 evolutionary biology: Why do organisms age? How do they choose mates? How does learning evolve and is it costly? More specifically, we are interested in the evolution of life histories, conflicts between the sexes, sexual dimorphism and learning. 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 work on a variety of different organisms: birds, spiders, beetles, fruit flies, roundworms 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 utilize privately or publicly available databases when it comes to populations of wild animals or humans.

The main focus of our current research is the evolutionary theory 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, next-generation sequencing, behavioural assays and long-term studies of natural populations. Currently we are very interested in i) the evolution of sex differences in lifespan and ageing; ii) the role of condition-dependent mortality in the evolution of ageing; and iii) the trade-off between learning and longevity.

Selected Publications:

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

Bolund E, Lummaa V, Smith KR, Hanson HA and Maklakov AA (2016) Reduced costs of reproduction in females mediate a shift from a male-biased to a female-biased lifespan in humans. Scientific Reports, 6: 24672 PDF

Zajitschek F, Zajitschek S, Canton C, Georgolopoulo G, Friberg U and Maklakov AA (2016) Evolution under dietary restriction increases male reproductive performance without survival cost. Proceedings of the Royal Society London B, 283: 1825 PDF

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

Berger D, Berg EC, Widegren W, Arnqvist G and Maklakov AA (2014) Multivariate intralocus sexual conflict in seed beetles. Evolution 68: 3457-3469 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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