Dr Virpi Lummaa

Dr Virpi Lummaa

Tel: +44 (0)114 222 0051
Fax: +44 (0)114 222 0002

email : v.lummaa@sheffield.ac.uk

Project Home Page


Career

Royal Society University Research Fellow, University of Sheffield (2003-present)
Marie Curie Research Fellow, University of Cambridge (2001-2003)
Academy of Finland Research Fellow, University of Cambridge (2000-2001)
Ph.D, University of Turku, Finland (1997-1999)

Key Research Interests

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The aim of my research is to understand variation in reproductive success, longevity and the strategies applied by individuals to maximise their evolutionary success in human populations. I use large multi-generational data sets recording reproductive performance and survival of recognizable individuals over their whole lifespan, combined with relevant background information on the local environmental conditions and resource availability for each family.

Currently, my research involves work on three long-term studies with individually-based records:

  • historical rural Finns
  • historical nomadic Sami of Northern Scandinavia
  • historical rural Canadians

View webpage for studies

The main questions currently asked involve:

  • Constructing heritability estimates for demographic life-history traits in different human populations and measuring selection on them
  • Estimating inbreeding and outbreeding effects on fitness in humans
  • Studying trade-offs in reproductive strategies
  • Examining the causes and consequences of family-living in humans
  • Studying the effects of early conditions on reproductive performance and survival

View webpage for above

images of books and Dr Lummaa


Current Collaborations

University of Sheffield: Andy Russell
University of Cambridge: Tim Clutton-Brock
Imperial College, London: Tim Coulson
University of Quebec: Marc Tremblay
LSHTM, London: Andrew Prentice and Sophie Moore
University of Oulu: Jukka Jokela

Current Research Group

Postdoctoral Research Associates

Samuli Helle

Samuli Helle
University of Turku, Finland (Funded by Academy of Finland)
Effects of reproduction on longevity in humans


PHD Students

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Duncan Gillespie
University of Sheffield (Funded by the White Rose University Consortium)
Human reproduction, senescence and longevity


Mirkka Lahdenpera

Mirkka Lahdenperä
University of Turku, Finland (Funded by Wihuri Foundation)
Evolution of family-living in humans





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Jianghua Liu
University of Sheffield
Evolutionary ecology of demographic transition in humans


Jenni Pettay

Jenni Pettay
University of Turku, Finland (Funded by Academy of Finland)
Phenotypic and genetic variation in human life-history traits



image of ian rickard

Ian Rickard
University of Sheffield (Funded by NERC)
Early developmental conditions and reproductive success in humans


Recent Publications (2001 to date)

Gillespie DOS, Russell AF & LUMMAA V 2008 When fecundity does not equal fitness: Evidence of a quantity-quality trade-off in pre-industrial humans. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences, in press.

Helle S, LUMMAA V & Jokela J 2008 Marrying women 15 years younger maximized men's evolutionary fitness in historical Sami. Biology Letters 4: 75-77.

Pettay JE, Charmantier A, Wilson AJ & LUMMAA V 2008 Age-specific genetic and maternal effects in fecundity of pre-industrial Finnish women. Submitted.

Lahdenperä M, Russell AF & LUMMAA V 2007 Selection for long lifespan in men: benefits of grandfathering? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences 274: 2437-2444.

LUMMAA V 2007 Life-history theory, longevity and reproduction in humans. In Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, Edited by Dunbar RIM & Barrett L, Oxford University Press.

LUMMAA V, Pettay JE & Russell AF 2007 Male twins reduce fitness of female co-twins in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of U.S.A. 104: 10915-10920.

Pettay JE, Helle S, Jokela J & LUMMAA V 2007 Wealth class-specific natural selection on female life-history traits in historical human populations. PLOS ONE 2(7): e606.

Rickard IJ & LUMMAA V 2007 The predictive adaptive response and metabolic syndrome – challenges for the hypothesis. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism 18: 94-99.

Rickard IJ, Russell AF & LUMMAA V 2007 Producing sons reduces lifetime reproductive success of subsequent offspring in pre-industrial Finns. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 274: 2981-2988.

Helle, S, LUMMAA, V & Jokela, J 2005 Late, but not early, reproduction correlated with longevity in historical Sami women. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences 272: 29-37.

Pettay, JE, Kruuk, LEB, Jokela, J & LUMMAA, V 2005 Heritability and genetic constraints of life-history trait evolution in pre-industrial humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of U.S.A. 102: 2838-2843.

Helle, S, LUMMAA, V & Jokela J 2004 Accelerated immunosenescence in pre-industrial twin mothers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of U.S.A. 101: 12391-12396.

Helle, S, LUMMAA, V & Jokela J 2004 Selection for increased brood size in pre-industrial humans. Evolution 52: 430-436.

Lahdenperä, M, LUMMAA, V, Helle, S, Tremblay, M & Russell, AF 2004 Fitness benefits of prolonged post-reproductive lifespan in women. Nature 428: 178-181.

Lahdenperä, M, LUMMAA, V & Russell, AF 2004 Menopause: Why does fertility end before life? Climacteric 7: 1-5.

LUMMAA V 2003 Reproductive success and early developmental conditions in humans: downstream effects of pre-natal famine, birth weight and timing of birth. American Journal of Human Biology 15: 370-379.

LUMMAA V & Tremblay M 2003 Month of birth predicted reproductive success and fitness in pre-modern Canadian women. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 270: 2355-2361.

Eeva T, Lehikoinen E, Rönkä M, LUMMAA V & Currie D 2002 Different responses to cold weather in two pied flycatcher populations. Ecography 25: 705-713.

Helle S, LUMMAA V & Jokela J 2002 Sons reduced maternal longevity in pre-industrial humans. Science 296: 1085.

Helle S, LUMMAA V & Jokela J 2002 Effect of producing sons on maternal longevity in pre-modern populations - Response. Science 298: U1-U2.

LUMMAA V & Clutton-Brock TH 2002 Early development, survival and reproduction in humans. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 17:141-147.

LUMMAA V 2001 Reproductive investment in pre-industrial humans: consequences of offspring number, gender and survival. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 268: 1977-1983.

LUMMAA V, Jokela J & Haukioja E 2001 Gender difference in benefits of twinning in pre-industrial humans: boys did not pay. Journal of Animal Ecology 70: 739-746.

Tullberg BS & LUMMAA V 2001 Induced abortion rate in modern Sweden falls with age, but rises again before menopause. Evolution & Human Behavior 22: 1-10.

Book Reviews

Lummaa V (2004): Church records advancing evolutionary biology. Review of Consanguinity, inbreeding, and genetic drift in Italy by Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Antonio Moroni and Gianna Zei. Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

Lummaa V (2001): Turning piles of bones into living humans. Review of Eckhardt RB: Human Paleobiology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology.

Published Abstracts

Lummaa V & Clutton-Brock TH 2002: Early development and determinants of reproductive success in humans. Human Biology Association Meeting, Buffalo, USA April 2002. American Journal of Human Biology 14: 51.

Lummaa V & Tremblay M 2002: Timing of birth and reproductive performance in pre-industrial Canadians. 2nd Conference of Epidemiological Studies in Europe, Oulu, Finland, June 2002. International Journal of Circumpolar Health 61: 154.

Helle S, Lummaa V & Jokela J 2002: Sons Reduced Longevity of Pre-Industrial Mothers. 2nd Conference of Epidemiological Studies in Europe, Oulu, Finland, June 12-14. International Journal of Circumpolar Health 61: 161.

Teaching

APS126 Behaviour of humans and other animals

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