My main interest is the biology of aging.
Taking an evolutionary perspective I work on the adaptive value of differences in aging between and within species to reveal fundamental aspects of the aging process. In this context I have worked on trade-offs concerning reproductive effort and sexual signaling. To increase reproductive effort I used various experimental manipulations in three-spined stickleback and I studied senescence and sexual signaling of bill coloration in zebra finches. Both during my PhD at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands). Moreover I have conducted several meta-analyses concerning the biology of aging and sexual signaling (see publications). For my postdoc at the University of Sheffield (UK), Molecular Ecology, I studied senescence and telomere biology in an insular island population of wild house sparrows.
For my future work I will focus on aging mechanisms, using genetics in fruit flies and meta-analysis funded by a Sir Henry Wellcome Trust fellowship and Vice-Chancellor's fellowship from the University of Sheffield.
Key scientific interests
- The biology of aging, from theory, to molecular, to whole organism biology
- Demography of mortality
- Dietary restriction
- Telomere length dynamics
- Biology of cancer
- Costs and senescence patterns of sexual coloration and reproduction
- Antioxidants and oxidative stress
- Energy budgets
Funding, past and current
Wellcome Trust, NERC, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, University of Sheffield