An infant baboon closely monitors its mother.

Maternal age effects on offspring

In collaboration with members of the Primate Life Histories working group, I am using long-term life-history data from seven primate species to investigate maternal age effects on reproductive performance and on offspring fitness.

Specifically, we aim to determine:

  1. How variable are patterns of female reproductive aging (specifically interbirth interval changes during aging) across species? Can we reliably detect a signature of aging, or does this vary across species?

  2. Are aspects of offspring fitness (survival and age at first reproduction) affected by maternal age?

    a. Does maternal age affect offspring’s age at first reproduction, and if so does it get better when mothers are middle-aged and worse when mothers are young or old?

    b. Does maternal age affect offspring survival to one year of age (or some such milestone), and if so does it get better when mothers are middle-aged and worse when mothers are young or old? Or some other pattern?