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Overview

Scientific discussion meeting organised by Dr Josh Firth, Dr Greg Albery, Dr Sandra Bouwhuis, Dr Lauren Brent, and Dr Rob Salguero-Gomez.

Ageing affects almost all aspects of life, and population ageing is now recognised as an important process across diverse types of societies. This meeting will explore how natural animal populations present a unique opportunity to address the lack of fundamental understanding surrounding how individual ageing influences society functioning, particularly through combining the field of animal ageing with animal social networks.

Recordings of the presentations will be available on this page once the meeting has taken place. Meeting papers will be published in a future issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

Poster session

There will be an in-person poster session on Monday 27 February at the meeting venue and an online poster gallery for the duration of the meeting. If you would like to apply to present a poster please submit your proposed title, abstract (not more than 200 words and in third person), author list, name of the proposed presenter and institution to the Scientific Programmes team no later than Friday 20 January 2023. Please include the text 'Poster abstract submission - Ageing and Sociality in Nature' in the email subject line. Please note that posters are selected at the scientific organisers' discretion.

Attending this event

  • This meeting is intended for researchers in relevant fields
  • Free to attend
  • Both in-person and online attendance will be available
  • Registration is required.

Please contact the Scientific Programmes team for enquiries.

Image: Greg Albery. A social group of three red deer on Isle of Rum, Scotland.

Schedule

09:20-09:30
Introduction by the meeting organiser

Abstract

Ageing affects almost all aspects of life and population ageing is now recognised as an important process across diverse types of societies. This meeting will explore how natural animal populations present a unique opportunity to address the lack of fundamental understanding surrounding how individual ageing influences society functioning, particularly through combining the field of animal ageing with animal social networks. 

Speakers

09:30-10:00
Title of the talk will be available soon

Abstract

Abstract of the talk will be available soon.

10:00-10:10
Discussion
10:10-10:40
Title of the talk will be available soon

Abstract

Abstract of the talk will be available soon.

10:40-10:50
Discussion
10:50-11:10
Break

Abstract

 

11:10-11:40
Title of the talk will be available soon

Abstract

Abstract of the talk will be available soon.

11:40-11:50
Discussion
11:50-12:20
Title of the talk will be available soon
12:20-12:30
Discussion
13:30-14:00
Understanding human senescence via a comparative demographic lens

Abstract

Increasing a year of health span in an average developed nation would currently cost its economy about a trillion pounds. Living long and prospering, in contrast, is something that many other non-human animals and plants seem to have achieved already. What lessons can we learn and apply to the lifespan trajectories and health spans of human societies? Here the author will present work linking both experimental work done in his lab with ageing interventions, as well as work linking the environmental and anatomic correlates of senescence across hundreds of animal and plant species. This talk will examine the role of modularity and society in ageing trajectories of humans and other creatures.

Speakers

14:00-14:10
Discussion
14:10-14:40
Title of the talk will be available soon
14:40-14:50
Discussion
14:50-15:20
Break
15:20-15:50
Title of the talk will be available soon
15:50-16:00
Discussion
16:00-16:30
Poster flash talk session
16:30-17:30
Poster session

Chair

09:30-10:00
Title of the talk will be available soon

Abstract

Abstract of the talk will be available soon.

10:00-10:10
Discussion
10:10-10:40
Social effects on ageing in “non-social” animals

Abstract

That social environments can influence ageing is perhaps intuitive in animals with complex societies such as group living mammals, birds or eusocial insects. For example, we might easily predict that an obligate colony-living ant might find social isolation highly stressful, resulting in shortened lifespan. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that social effects on ageing patterns are seen in animals not classically considered “social”. Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies, a major model in understanding the genetic drivers of ageing, are one such animal. There is growing evidence that fruit flies are highly sensitive to their social environments, including in terms of ageing. In D. melanogaster, patterns of both lifespan and senescence of various traits respond to different types of social contact. In common with other animals including humans, fruit flies show sex differences in response to the same type of social contact. Moreover, being such a tractable model enables us to take a mechanistic approach, to begin to understand how social information is integrated at a molecular level. In this way, work in fruit flies complements evidence from animals more easily studied in the wild, and might lead us to reassess what we regard as a “social animal”.

Speakers

10:40-10:50
Discussion
10:50-11:10
Break
11:10-11:40
Title of the talk will be available soon

Abstract

Abstract of the talk will be available soon. 

11:40-11:50
Discussion
11:50-12:20
Title of the talk will be available soon.

Abstract

Abstract of the talk will be available soon.

12:20-12:30
Discussion
13:30-14:00
Title of the talk will be available soon.

Abstract

Abstract of the talk will be available soon.

14:00-14:10
Discussion
14:10-14:40
Social interactions and group cohesion in long-lived rational agents

Abstract

Social interactions are a behavioural trait that is subject to natural selection, and thus the nature of these interactions can be understood as an adaptive response to the problems animals face. Attempts to ground social interactions from theoretical foundations have focused on the fitness consequences for individuals applying different interaction rules, while typically taking group membership as a given. This ignores how the decisions individuals make shape which groups they subsequently find themselves in, and thus the role that group maintenance may play in those decisions. In this talk the author will describe a theory of social decision making in which agents rationally seek to maximise their long-term payoffs, by balancing immediate rewards and the long-term benefits of remaining in a cohesive group. By varying the effective time horizon of the agents, we can generate different solutions to this trade-off, explore the social consequences of an increasing long-lived population and likely changes in social behaviour as individuals age.

Speakers

14:40-14:50
Discussion
14:50-15:20
Break
15:20-15:50
Title of the talk will be available soon.
15:50-16:00
Discussion
16:00-16:30
Panel discussion/overview

Abstract