Neil B. Metcalfe

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The concept of trade-offs is central to our understanding of life-history evolution. The underlying mechanisms, however, have been little studied. Oxidative stress results from a mismatch between the production of damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the organism's capacity to mitigate their damaging effects. Managing oxidative stress is likely to be(More)
One hypothesis for why females in many animal species frequently prefer to mate with the most elaborately ornamented males predicts that availability of carotenoid pigments is a potentially limiting factor for both ornament expression and immune function. An implicit assumption of this hypothesis is that males that can afford to produce more elaborate(More)
Individual differences in the energy cost of self-maintenance (resting metabolic rate, RMR) are substantial and the focus of an emerging research area. These differences may influence fitness because self-maintenance is considered as a life-history component along with growth and reproduction. In this review, we ask why do some individuals have two to three(More)
Many plants and animals are capable of developing in a variety of ways, forming characteristics that are well adapted to the environments in which they are likely to live. In adverse circumstances, for example, small size and slow metabolism can facilitate survival, whereas larger size and more rapid metabolism have advantages for reproductive success when(More)
The attrition of telomeres, the ends of eukaryote chromosomes, is thought to play an important role in cell deterioration with advancing age. The observed variation in telomere length among individuals of the same age is therefore thought to be related to variation in potential longevity. Studies of this relationship are hampered by the time scale over(More)
There are many ecological advantages to attaining a large body size as fast as possible (such as reduced risks of being caught by predators or increased reproductive success). However, studies in several taxa indicate that fast growth in itself can have negative as well as positive effects. There appears to be a link between accelerated growth and lifespan:(More)
Advances in the phenology of organisms are often attributed to climate change, but alternatively, may reflect a publication bias towards advances and may be caused by environmental factors unrelated to climate change. Both factors are investigated using the breeding dates of 25 long-term studied populations of Ficedula flycatchers across Europe. Trends in(More)
Despite accumulating evidence from in vitro studies that cellular senescence is linked to telomere dynamics, how this relates to whole-organism senescence and longevity is poorly understood and controversial. Using data on telomere length in red blood cells and long-term survival from wild Alpine swifts of a range of ages, we report that the telomere length(More)
The great diversity of life-history patterns in the salmonids has stimulated many theoretical studies. However, virtually all studies are based on ultimate considerations, in which predictions are made by comparing the expected reproductive success of di€erent developmental or life-history pathways and choosing the one (or ones) with the highest ®tness.(More)
There has been substantial recent interest in the possible role of oxidative stress as a mechanism underlying life-history trade-offs, particularly with regard to reproductive costs. Several recent papers have found no evidence that reproduction increases oxidative damage and so have questioned the basis of the hypothesis that oxidative damage mediates the(More)