Metabolomic network in Drosophila melanogaster  (© Carly Ziegler)

Networks, metabolomics and the evolution of aging

Evolutionary theory tells us that aging evolves because of the age-related decline in the strength of natural selection, and evolutionary biologists have attempted to explain why longevity varies between species, and between individuals within species. We are using systems biology approaches, with a particular focus on high-throughput metabolomics, to better understand the causes and consequences of differences in senescence among species, among individuals within species, and among processes and systems within individuals.

Systems biology of neurodegenerative disease

The Promislow lab is working in collaboration with the Pallanck and Tuthill labs at UW to understand the genetics and systems biology of neurodegenerative disease in the Drosophila brain. We are currently seeking three post-docs to join our collaborative team. See our website here.

Aging in dogs

Dogs are the most phenotypically variable mammal on earth. The Promislow lab co-directs the Dog Aging Project, focused on understanding the environmental and genetic determinants of healthy aging in companion dogs. Current projects include epidemiological and epigenetic studies of aging in dogs.

Photo by Paul Efland, University of Georgia

Costs of mate choice and reproduction

Theoretical and empirical studies of life history evolution have long focused on trade-offs between reproduction and survival. Our recent work in collaboration with Scott Pletcher at the University of Michigan explores the notion that neural circuits, rather than downstream physiology, are at the heart of costs of mate choice and reproduction. The Promislow lab is uses systems biology to understand the downstream consequences of these neuronal signals.

  ©Scott Pletcher

Theoretical models of aging

In addition to our empirical and computational studies, we are also interested in developing theory to better understand how selection shapes patterns of aging in natural populations, and how age-structure influences selection on other traits, such as mate choice.