We were delighted to host Professors Martin Daly (McMaster University) and Gretchen Perry (Lakehead University) for a day of excellent talks (11.07.2018) in Turku at Panimoravintola Koulu, from speakers in a range of disciplines. The focus was particularly on alloparenting in humans, but also included talks on elephant alloparenting, evolutionary psychology, and the life-histories of Karelian evacuees and servicewomen. We heard about a lot of interesting work, and got one or two ideas for investigating contexts of grandmothering in our historic Finnish data from work that has been done on contemporary grandmothering - this underlines the importance of interdisciplinary meetings!

In attendance (in order of talks): 
Virpi Lummaa (UTU, biology)
Martin Daly (McMaster University)
Gretchen Perry (Lakehead University)
Mirkka Danielsbacka (UTU, social sciences)
Antti Tanskanen (UTU, social sciences)
Simon Chapman (UTU, biology)
Hannu Lehti (UTU, social sciences)
Mirkka Lahdenperä (UTU, biology)
Emily Lynch (UTU, biology)
John Loehr (University of Helsinki)
Markus Rantala (UTU, biology & Turku Brain and Mind Centre)
Jenni Pettay (UTU, biology)
Robert Lynch (UTU, biology)

Other News

Simon's latest work on the demography of grandmothers is now out in PLoS ONE. 

Robert Lynch is at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES) conference 2018 in Amsterdam

The manuscript "The transition to modernity and chronic disease: mismatch and natural selection" by Stephen Corbett, Alexandre Courtiol, Virpi Lummaa, Jacob Moorad and Stephen Stea

Two papers out now from Simon's PhD project!

1) Changes in the Length of Grandparenthood in Finland 1790-1959, published in the Finnish Yearbook of Population Reasarch. In this paper, the team investigated how the shared time between grandparents and grandchildren changed across the demographic transition and with industrialisation. This shared time was low and stable before these major events, and began to increase rapidly after they began.

2) Limited support for the X-linked grandmother hypothesis in pre-industrial Finland, published in Biology Letters. Here, we tested whether slight differences in relatedness via the X-chromosome might lead to differences the survival of male and female grandchildren with maternal or paternal grandmothers. Though two of three predictions were supported, we concluded that the X-linked grandmother hypothesis cannot account for lineage differences by itself. 

Our latest paper shows that early-life environment is associated with sex differences in adult mortality and expected lifespan. Out now in Ecology Letters:

Figure 3a+b, from Griffin et al. 2017

Our review of the contribution of human studies to evolutionary biology is out now in Proceedings of the Royal Society B:

Virpi was given the inaugural Phoenix Award from the Turku Finnish University Society on Friday in recognition of and encouragement for her consistently creative and internationally high-quality re

We had the pleasure of hosting Silke van Daalen from the University of Amsterdam for three weeks this September. Silke is a PhD student working with Hal Caswell on identifying individual stochasticity in life-history traits of long-lived populations with a mathematical modelling approach, and came to learn about our dataset and how she might be able to use it in her work. We wish her the best of luck with the rest of her PhD studies, and hope to see her again soon!

Another year, another project meeting! This time we stayed on the beautiful island of Seili, again with the lovely people from the Myanmar Timber Elephant Project, for a few days of talks, drinks, and sauna. Needless to say, there is plenty of interesting and exciting work underway - keep your eyes peeled for the results, coming soon (hopefully) to peer-reviewed journals near you!

John Loehr with his workgroup received EUR 225.000 grant from Kone Foundation in 2016 for their project Learning from the past: the effect of forced migration from Karelia on family life.
Karelia-project had their kick-off meeting at the University of Turku 19.4.2017. Intense discussions, good spirit and a lot of inspiration among the team!