College of Arts and Science
Ph.D 2013 Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, Germany
Systems approaches to the study of aging in ecological settings.
The decline in whole-organism performance with age (or aging) is a near-universal feature of gamete-producing species and a major constraint on fitness and longevity. Intriguingly, there is a large variation within and among species in the pace of aging both under the same and under different environmental conditions. A literature trove accounting for molecular and physiological causes and correlates of aging in captive organisms (e.g., worm, fruit fly, and mouse) exists. We understand much less about critical sources of selection and the loci targeted by selection for differential responses in wild or free-living natural populations. My primary research goal is to address this gap in our understanding by answering the following questions:
I approach these questions by integrating a suite of traditional genetics and modern omics methods over scales of biological organization (from genes to phenotype), across populations and species, and between contrasting environmental conditions. The answers to these questions will generate novel hypotheses and testable predictions with potential applications for both gerontological research and species conservation.
See Google Scholar for a list of Dr. Ng'oma's publications.