|Demography and ecology of Caenorhabditis elegans|
Ed Caswell-Chen (UC Davis)
Caenorhabditis elegans is everyone's favorite nematode; it serves as a model organism for studies in developmental genetics, including the biology of aging. A number of mutants have been identified that dramatically affect age-specific survival and longevity in the laboratory, and I have developed several matrix population models to examine these effects. However, C. elegans certainly did not evolve in an environment even remotely similar to that in which it lives in the laboratory. I am interested in exploring the consequences of its ecological environment on the demography and life history evolution of this species. Such analyses could be of great theoretical interest, as well as informing empirical studies of aging.