The decline in whole-organism performance with age (or aging), is a near-universal attribute of gamete-producing species, and is a major constraint on fitness and longevity. Intriguingly, there is a large variation within and among most species in the pace of aging in different environmental conditions. Presently, much of the knowledge on aging has derived from a few laboratory organisms (worm, fruit fly and mouse). My research aims to understand the biological mechanisms underlying the variation in the rate of aging by integrating data across scales of biological organization, extrinsic sources of mortality, and across species. In this seminar, I present two case studies. The first explores a natural evolutionary experiment where variation in aging rate evolved in response to climatic variation within and between species of annual killifish. The second case describes mechanisms of nutritional selection resulting in differential patterns of resource allocation in fruit flies. Collectively, these studies suggest the need to understand basis of this variation in ecological settings. This finding forms the basis for a proposed future project.
Dr. Ng'oma is being considered for a faculty position within the Division of Biological Sciences. This public seminar is part of the interview process.
Dr. Enoch Ng'oma
Senior Research Associate
Division of Biological Sciences
University of Missouri