Biodemography

We focus on analyses of the distribution of lifespans for humans and across the tree of life and with increased emphasis on conservation demography of endangered species.


Within evolutionary biology and ecology, biologists have for at least a century used demographic methods to understand animal and plant populations, how they evolve, and how they may be affected by environmental change. In recent decades, their methods and data have greatly facilitated the growth of Biodemography.

Biodemography is a timely and exciting area of research that has been emerging over the past 20–25 years in the wake of unimpeded population aging. Longer lives pose major challenges and opportunities to societies. Questions arise that touch on the biological foundation of aging: how far can and will this go on? Is there a limit to human lifespan extension? Will we remain healthy longer or spend more years in ill health? To what extent could we postpone or slow aging?

Within our centre, Biodemographers study the diversity of life courses licensed by nature across the tree of life. From an anthropocentric perspective, we aim to shed light on the basic determinants of aging patterns to get an idea of the basic ballpark of human lifespan extension. From a biological perspective, we study the impact of change in demographic patterns across species on species’ diversity and environmental health of our planet. Given the biodiversity crises we help to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by applying state of the art demographic methods to inform the decision making process to save species from extinction.

Major efforts to develop methods, databases, and theory in CPop support progress in biodemography.  From this perspective the following CPop research areas are considered as part of Biodemography in broader sense:

Health and inequality in ageing

Wellbeing and survival of oldest old

Here we focus on Biodemography projects of CPop that cut across the tree of life to both human and non-human species.