The evolution of and escape from senescence

One of the biggest questions in evolutionary biology is why organisms become more decrepit as they age. We humans certainly do (although our longevity keeps on evolving at a pretty fast pace in developed countries), but most other organisms do not. We are particularly interested in the mechanisms that explain the wide range of ageing trajectories in survival and fertility across the tree of life.

framework to examine the selection gradients of fertility and mortality by age and size caswell salguero gomez 2013 j ecol



The SalGo team tackles this question both from a comparative as well as from experimental perspectives. We have developed ecological models that explicitly incorporate trade-offs between various energetic and physiological functions to model the evolution of (and escape from senescence). Equally, we are also incorporating metabolomics, genetics, histological and physiological data to understand the underpinnings of senescence escapists.

Journal of Ecology 2013
SalGo Team members:
  • Connor Bernard
  • Pol Capdevila
  • Jacques Deere
  • Sam Gascoigne
  • Mark Roper
  • Rob Salguero-Gómez


Selected collaborators:

Selected publications:

Bernard CCompagnoni A & Salguero-Gómez R. 2020. Testing Finch’s hypothesis: the role of organismal modularity on the escape from actuarial senescence. Functional Ecology 34, 88-106 DOI 10.1111/1365-2435.13486

Cohen A, Isaksson C & Salguero-Gómez R. 2017. Co-existence of multiple trade-off currencies has major impacts on evolutionary outcomes. PLoS ONE 12, e0189124 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0189124

Salguero-Gómez R. 2017. Implications of clonality for ageing research. Evolutionary Ecology 32, 9-28, DOI 10.1007/s10682017-9923-2

Shefferson R, Jones OR, Salguero-Gómez R. 2017. The Evolution of Senescence across the Tree of Life. Cambridge University PressISBN: 9781107078505

O’Farrell S, Salguero-Gómez R, van Rooij J M & Mumby P J. Disentangling trait-based mortality gradients in species with decoupled size and age. Journal of Animal Ecology 84, 1446-1456. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12399

Jones OR*, Scheuerlein A*, Salguero-Gómez R, Camarda CG, Schaible R, Casper BB, Dahlgren JP, Ehrlén J, García MB, Menges E, Quintana-Ascencio PF, Caswell H, Baudisch A & Vaupel J. 2014. Diversity of ageing across the tree of life. Nature 505, 169-173. F1000PrimeDOI: 10.1038/nature12789

Salguero-Gómez R, Shefferson R & Hutchings MJ. Plants do not count… or do they? New perspectives in whole-plant senescence. Journal of Ecology 3, 545-554. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12089

Caswell H, Salguero-Gómez R. 2013. Age, stage, and senescence in plants. Journal of Ecology 3, 585-595. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12088

*Shared senior

Underline: leading/senior authors