[S5] Evolutionary biology of ageing: integrating function and mechanism

Ageing is an almost ubiquitous feature of living organisms but its evolution and mechanistic basis are still poorly understood. The rapid advances in our understanding of the molecular biology of ageing pose new challenges for our understanding of ageing evolution, and have created an urgent need for the integration of recent empirical insights with an evolutionary framework of senescence and lifespan. Thus the ambition of this symposium is to address the integration of function and mechanism in our understanding of the process and evolution of senescence, both from an empirical and a theoretical point of view. In addition, we aim for a perspectives paper by the organizers together with the speakers. Questions of interest include: Does the evolution of ageing depend on the mechanisms mediating senescence and death, and if so - how? Is the trade-off between reproduction and survival indispensable for our understanding of the biology of ageing? How important are condition-dependent and true extrinsic mortality rates for the evolution of ageing? How and why do developmental processes and growth affect the evolution of senescence? What do state-dependent (i.e. sex-specific or caste-specific) ageing patterns tell us about ageing in general?
Organizers: Alexei Maklakov, Ido Pen, Simon Verhulst
Invited speakers: Russell Bonduriansky & Thomas Flatt