Royal Society funded Senior Research Fellow
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, S10 2TN Sheffield, U.K. Tel. +44 (0)114 2220051 Fax. +44 (0)114 2220002 Email. V.Lummaa@sheffield.ac.uk
- Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study), Germany (2011-2012)
- 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)
An overview of what I do in layman language in English by the Scientific American, in Finnish by Helsingin Sanomat, and in German by Frankfurt Allgemeine
My aim is to understand the ecological causes and evolutionary consequences of variation in reproductive success, longevity and life-history strategies. Majority of this work builds on my individual-based dataset on reproduction and survival in pre-modern humans that contains all births, deaths, marriages and inter-parish movements for up to 10 generations living in 8 parishes during times of natural fertility and mortality in Finland (80,000 individuals), combined with data for current ecological conditions (climate, annual harvest success, etc.). I am also keen to compare my findings on these natural mortality and fertility humans with patterns seen in current developing countries and modern western populations, given that the recent change in population age structure is a growing issue of concern in western and oriental societies, and current models have failed to predict demographic transitions in many developing countries. I have consequently started collaborations on similar datasets collected from historical Canada, contemporary Europe and rural Gambia and Senegal.This work is multi-disciplinary and carried out in collaboration with medical scientists, evolutionary biologists, historians, population demographers and anthropologists.
The main current projects on humans involve:
- Investigating reproductive and survival senescence patterns in humans and how this is modified by local ecology and genetic architecture of the traits;
- Examining the causes and consequences of family-living in humans;
- Studying the effects of early environmental conditions on reproductive performance and survival;
- Linking reproductive success to personality differences and their underlying hormonal basis in traditional natural fertility human populations and current modern Western countries to understand demographic transitions.
Using historical population records maintained by the Church to collect a data set containing full reproductive and survival details for pre-industrial Finns
I am also working on the ecological causes of senescence and its hormonal associates in another exceptionally long-lived mammal, the Asian elephant. This study utilizes a unique (8000 individuals from 4 generations) demographic dataset available on a semi-captive Asian elephant population from Myanmar. We have built a large individual-based dataset covering the full life-history of succeeding generations of captive timber elephants born or captured 1942-1999 in Myanmar, by using the elephant log books and annual extraction reports archived and maintained by the Myanmar Timber Enterprise.
- My Newfoundlands take up most of my spare time - I occasionally breed them with the name Terhotarhan. Here is my whole gang a few years back.
Main funding of my research:
National Environmental Research Council (NERC) Standard Research grant on "Senescence in mammals with extreme lifespan" 2009-2012 (PI, with Dr. Andy Russell & Dr. Khyne Mar, Sheffield).
Kone Foundation Interdisciplinary Research Grant on "Reproductive behaviour in contemporary societies: combining evolutionary theory with social science research" 2009-2011 (together with Dr. Markus Jokela and Dr. Anna Rotkirch, Helsinki).
European Reseach Council Starting Independent Research Grant on "Mothers, grandmothers and the evolution on prolonged lifespan in humans" 2008-2014
The Royal Society of London - University Research Fellowship 2003-2013
- Nando Peretti Foundation Grant for Conservation 2010-2012
Academy of Finland standard research grants 2002-2004 and 2005-2008
In the past, I have also held grants from the European Commission and the Emil Aaltonen Foundation
PhD-students and post-doctoral researches in my research group have been funded by the European Commission Marie Curie Programme, National Environmental Research Council of UK, The White Rose, Academy of Finland, European Research Council, Emil Aaltonen Foundation, Wihuri Foundation, Alfred Kordelin Foundation, Kone Foundation and Finnish Cultural Foundation
At the moment, I am lecturing the Level 1 course on Animal and Human Behaviour (APS12) at the Sheffield University. I am also tutoring Level 1 students and supervising Level 3 research projects and dissertations. During the summer, I help to run the Portugal Field Course. I am also supervising PhD students and MSc student, and there are several exciting possibilities for further research. So if you are interested in doing a post-doc, PhD or your MSc project with me, get in contact.
Gillespie DOS, Russell AF , Lummaa V 2013 The effect of maternal age and reproductive history on offspring
survival and lifetime reproduction in pre-industrial humans. Evolution, accepted (with minor revision).
Helle S, Lummaa V 2013 A trade-off between having many sons and shorter maternal post-reproductive survival in preindustrial Finland. Biology Letters, accepted (with minor revision).
Lummaa V 2013 Human behavioral ecology. In Princeton Guide to Evolution Edited by Losos, J et al. Princeton University Press, in press.
Mumby HS, Courtiol A, Mar KU, Lummaa V 2013 Climatic variation and age-specific survival in Asian elephants from Myanmar. Ecology, in press (pre-print available online).
Nitsch A, Faurie F, Lummaa V 2013: Are elder siblings helpers or competitors? Antagonistic fitness effects of sibling interactions in humans. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 280 (1750). PDF
Courtiol A, Pettay J, Jokela M, Rotkirch A & Lummaa V 2012 Natural and sexual selection in a monogamous historical human population. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of U.S.A. 109: 8044-8049. PDF
Hayward AD, Holopainen J, Pettay JE, Lummaa V 2012: Food and fitness: associations between crop yields and life-history traits in a longitudinally-monitored pre-industrial human population. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 279(1745): 4165-4173. PDF
Holopainen J, Gregow H, Helama S, Kubin E, Lummaa V & Terhivuo J 2012 Suomen kasvifenologisista havainnoista 1700-luvun puolivälistä nykypäivään. (History of Finnish plant phenological observations since the 1750s). Sorbifolia 43 (2):51–66. PDF
Lahdenperä M, Gillespie DOS, Lummaa V, Russell AF 2012: Severe intergenerational reproductive conflict and the evolution of menopause. Ecology Letters 15: 1283-90. . PDF
Liu J, Rotkirch A & Lummaa V 2012 Maternal risk of breeding failure remained low throughout the demographic transitions in fertility and age at first reproduction in Finland. PLOS One 7 (4), e34898. PDF
Mar KU, Lahdenperä M & Lummaa V 2012 Causes and correlates of calf mortality in semi-captive Asian elephants (Elaphas maximus). PLOS One 7 (3), e32335. PDF
Rickard IJ, Courtiol A, Prentice AM, Fulford AJC, Clutton-Brock TH, Lummaa V 2012: Intergenerational effects of maternal birth season on offspring size in rural Gambia. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 279 (1745): 4253-4265. PDF
Rickard IJ, Courtiol A & Lummaa V 2012 Why is lifetime fertility higher in twinning women? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 279: 2510-2011. PDF
Rickard IJ, Prentice AM, Fulford AJC & Lummaa V 2012 Twinning propensity and offspring in utero growth covary in rural African women. Biology Letters 8: 67-70. PDF
Robinson MR, Mar KU & Lummaa V 2012 Senescence and age-specific trade-offs between reproduction and survival in female Asian elephants. Ecology Letters 15: 260-266. PDF
Silva AS, Lummaa V, Muller U, Mazur A, Raymond M & Alvergne A 2012 Facial attractiveness and fertility in populations with low levels of modern birth control. Evolution and Human Behavior 33: 491–498. PDF
Jokela M, Alvergne A, Pollet TV & Lummaa V 2011 Reproductive behavior and personality traits of the Five Factor Model. European Journal of Personality 25: 487-500. PDF
Lahdenperä M, Tremblay M, Russell AF & Lummaa V 2011 Selection on menopause in two pre-modern human populations: No evidence for the Mother Hypothesis. Evolution 65: 476-489. PDF
Lahdenperä M, Lummaa V, Russell AF 2011 Selection on male longevity in a monogamous human population: late-life survival brings no additional grandchildren. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24: 1053-1063. PDF
Liu J & Lummaa V 2011 Age at first reproduction and probability of reproductive failure in women. Evolution and Human Behavior 32: 433-443. PDF
Alvergne A, Jokela J & Lummaa V 2010 Personality and reproductive success in a high-fertility human population. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of U.S.A. 107: 11745-11750. PDF
Alvergne A, Jokela J, Faurie C & Lummaa V 2010 Personality and testosterone in
men from a high-fertility population. Personality and Individual Differences 49 (8), 840-844. PDF
Alvergne A & Lummaa V 2010 Does the contraceptive pill alter mate-choice in humans? Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 25: 171-179. PDF
Alvergne A & Lummaa V 2010 Response to Carere et al. Human mate preference: inconsistency between data and interpretations. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25: 491-492.
Gillespie DOS, Lahdenperä M, Russell AF & Lummaa V 2010 Pair-bonding modifies the age-specific intensity of natural selection on human female fecundity. American Naturalist 176: 159-169. PDF
Helle, S, Lummaa V & Jokela J 2010 On the number of sons born and shorter lifespan in historical Sami mothers. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences 177: 2909-2911.
Jokela M, Rotkirch A, Rickard IJ, Pettay JP & Lummaa V 2010 Serial monogamy and reproductive success in a contemporary human population. Behavioral Ecology 21: 906-912. PDF
Lummaa V 2010 The costs of reproduction. In Homo Novus – A Human without Illusions. Edited by Stoermer, C et al. Springer.
Rickard IJ, Holopainen J, Helama S, Helle S, Russell AF & Lummaa V 2010 Food availability at birth limited reproductive success in historical humans. Ecology 91: 3515-3525. PDF
Faurie C, Russell AF & Lummaa V 2009 Middleborns at disadvantage? Testing birth-order effects on fitness in pre-industrial humans. Plos ONE 4(5), e5680. PDF
Rickard IJ, Lummaa V & Russell AF 2009 Elder brothers affect the life-history of younger siblings pre-industrial humans: social consequence or biological cost? Evolution and Human Behavior, 30, 49-57. PDF
Russell AF & Lummaa V 2009 Maternal effects in cooperative breeders: From hymenopterans to humans. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 364, 1143-1167. PDF
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 275, 713-722. PDF
Helle S, Lummaa V & Jokela J 2008 Marrying 15 years younger woman maximized men's evolutionary fitness in historical Sami. Biology Letters, 4, 75-77. PDF
Lummaa V 2008 Ihmisen elinkiertojen evoluutio. In Evoluutio Nyt! Edited by Vuorisalo T & Portin P, WSOY.
Pettay JE, Charmantier A, Wilson AJ and Lummaa V 2008 Age-specific genetic and maternal effects in fecundity of pre-industrial Finnish women. Evolution, 62, 2297-2304. PDF
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. PDF
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. PDF
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. PDF
Rickard IJ & Lummaa V 2007 The predictive adaptive response and metabolic syndrome – challenges for the hypothesis. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism 18: 94-99. PDF
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 PDF
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. PDF
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. PDF
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. PDF
Helle, S, Lummaa, V & Jokela J 2004 Selection for increased brood size in pre-industrial humans. Evolution 52: 430-436. PDF
Lahdenperä, M, Lummaa, V, Helle, S, Tremblay, M & Russell, AF 2004 Fitness benefits of prolonged post-reproductive lifespan in women. Nature 428: 178-181. PDF
Lahdenperä, M, Lummaa, V & Russell, AF 2004 Menopause: Why does fertility end before life? Climacteric 7: 1-5.PDF
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. PDF
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. PDF
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, Käär P & Jokela J 2002 Human longevity and early reproduction in pre-industrial Sami populations. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 15: 803-807. PDF
Helle S, Lummaa V & Jokela J 2002 Sons reduced maternal longevity in pre-industrial humans. Science 296: 1085. PDF
Helle S, Lummaa V & Jokela J 2002 Effect of producing sons on maternal longevity in pre-modern populations - Response. Science 298: U1-U2. PDF
Helle S, Lummaa V & Jokela J 2002: Sons Reduced Longevity of Pre-Industrial Mothers. International Journal of Circumpolar Health 61: 161.
Lummaa V & Clutton-Brock TH 2002 Early development, survival and reproduction in humans. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 17:141-147. PDF
Lummaa V & Clutton-Brock TH 2002 Early development and determinants of reproductive success in humans. American Journal of Human Biology 14: 51.
Lummaa V & Tremblay M 2002 Timing of birth and reproductive performance in pre-industrial Canadians. International Journal of Circumpolar Health 61: 154.
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. PDF
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. PDF
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. PDF
Lummaa V 2000 Natural or cultural selection? Aurora 3/2000: 26-29.
Lummaa V 2000 Luonnonvalinnan vai kulttuurin tuotteita? Kirkonkirjat kertovat suomalaisten lisääntymismenestyksestä 200 vuotta sitten. Tieteessä Tapahtuu 3/2000: 37-40.
Ranta E, Lummaa V, Kaitala V & Merilä J 2000 Spatial dynamics of adaptive sex ratios. Ecology Letters 3: 30.34. PDF
Lummaa V 1999: Adaptive and nonadaptive variation in human life-history traits. Annales Universitatis Turkuensis AII: 124, Painosalama Oy, Turku, Finland.
Lummaa V, Haukioja E & Lemmetyinen R 1999 Does polyovulation counterbalance a high abortion rate in humans? Journal of Evolutionary Biology 12: 806-808. PDF
Lummaa V, Haukioja E, Lemmetyinen R & Pikkola M 1998 Natural selection on human twinning. Nature 394: 533-534. PDF
Lummaa V, Lemmetyinen R, Haukioja E & Pikkola M 1998 Seasonality of births in Homo sapiens in pre-industrial Finland: maximisation of offspring survivorship? Journal of Evolutionary Biology 11: 147-157. PDF
Lummaa V, Merilä J & Kause A 1998 Adaptive sex ratio variation in pre-industrial human (Homo sapiens) populations? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 265: 563-568. PDF
Lummaa V, Vuorisalo T, Barr R & Lehtonen L 1998: Why cry? Adaptive significance of intensive crying in human infants. Evolution & Human Behavior 19: 193-202. PDF
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.
Invited seminars and pleanary lectures:
Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich (2012)
Workshop on Evolutionary Demography, Max Planck Institute for Depgraphic Research, Rostock Germany (2012)
5th Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF2012), invited speaker in an ERC session on "Ageing: from genome to sex", Ireland (forthcoming, 2012)
- German Primate Center, Goettingen, Germany (2012)
- Wissenshaftskolleg zu Berlin - Institute for Advanced Study, Germany (2012)
- EGI Conference, Edward Grey Institute for Ornithology, University of Oxford (2012) (plenary talk)
Science Forum organised by the Finnish Ministry of Education and the Academy of Finland, Helsinki, Finland (2010) (plenary talk)
University of Helsinki Spring Symposium (Finland 2010) (plenary talk)
- Department of Biology, University of Turku, Finland (2010)
- Zoological Institute, University of Basel, Switzerland (2010)
16th Benelux Congress of Zoology, Holland, (2009) (plenary talk)
- Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland (2009)
- Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford, UK (2009)
French Society of Human Ecology Meeting on Transmissions between Generations (France 2009) (plenary talk)
15th Annual European Meeting of PhD students in Evolutionary Biology, Holland, (2009) (plenary talk)
21st Meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, California, USA (2009) (plenary talk)
6th European Congress of Biogerontology - Ageing and individual life history, Holland (2008) (plenary talk)
The ERC Scientific Council for a policy of excellence - The first award winners pave the way. France (2008)
Maternal effects: mechanisms and implications for life history evolution, Switzerland (2008) (plenary talk)
European Society of Evolutionary Developmental Biology, Belgium (2008)
European Human Behaviour and Evolution Conference, Montpellier, France (2008) (plenary talk)
Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation, University of East Anglia, UK (2008)
Department of Genetics, Environment and Evolution, UCL, London, UK (2008)
Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, University of Glasgow, UK (2008)
Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen (2007)
Department of Anthropology, University of Durham, UK (2007)
Zoological Institute, University of Bern, Switzerland (2006)
12th Annual European Meeting of PhD students in Evolutionary Biology, St Andrews, Scotland (2006) (plenary talk)
Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) Easter Meeting, Nottingham, UK (2006) (plenary talk)
Summer School on Evolutionary Anthropology, Bremen, Germany (2006) (plenary talk)
Konrad Lorenz Institute for Ethology, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna (2006)
University of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada (2006)
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford (2006)
Division of Biology, Imperial Collage London (2006)
Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exceter in Cornwall (2006)
Research Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology, Univ. of Leeds (2006)
Institute of Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh (2005)
Planary Speaker, From Clutch size to mountain birch -Symposium, Turku, Finland (2005)
Plenary speaker, Meeting on Human Behaviour from Evolutionary Perspective, Montpellier (2003)
Department of Zoology, University of Uppsala (2003)
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Jyväskylä 2003)
Department. of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield (2003)
Department. of Biological Sciences, University of Liverpool (2003)
Div. of Environmental and Ecological Biology, University of Glasgow (2002)
Discovery Lecture Series, University of Cambridge (2002)
Plenary speaker, Human Biology Association Meeting, Buffalo (2002)
Dept. of Psychology, University of Newcastle, U.K. (2001)
Dept. of Biological Anthropology, University of Cambridge, U.K. (2001)
Agricultural Research Centre of Finland (2000)
Dept. of Anthropology, University Collage London, U.K. (2000)
Dept. of Zoology, University of Cambridge U.K. (2000)
Dept. of Biology, University of Turku, Finland (1998)
Dept. of Population Biology, University of Helsinki, Finland (1998)
Dept. of Ecology, ETH-Zentrum Zurich, Switzerland (1998)
Dept of Zoology, University of Uppsala, Sweden (1997)
(Some) contributed talks in international congresses:
- International Behavioral Ecology Congress, Lund, Sweden (2012)
- Annual Conference of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Kyoto, Japan (2008)
- 12th International Behavioral Ecology Congress, Ithaca, USA (2008)
- XI Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology, Uppsala, Sweden (2007)
- 11th International Behavioral Ecology Congress, Tours, France (2006)
- X Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology, Krakow, Poland (2005)
- Annual Conference of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Texas, USA (2005)
- 10th International Behavioral Ecology Conference, Jyvaskyla, Finland (2004)
- IX Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology, Leeds, U.K. (2003)
- 9th International Behavioral Ecology Congress, Montreal, Canada (2002)
- 2nd Conference of Epidemiological Studies in Europe, Oulu, Finland (2002)
- 13th Meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, London, UK (2001)
- 8th International Behavioral Ecology Congress, Zurich, Switzerland (2000)
- 11th Meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Salt Lake City, USA (1999)
- 7th International Behavioral Ecology Congress, Monterey, USA (1998)
- International Congress on Infant Crying, Windermere, UK (1997)
- VI Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology, Arnhem, Holland (1997)
Media and "Outreach":
An overview of what I do in layman language in English by the Scientific American, in Finnish by Helsingin Sanomat, and in German by Frankfurt Allgemeine
I am trying to actively make our research and findings accessible also to the wider audience, and I give a lot of interviews to journalists, radio, etc - even if it's very difficult and frustrating a lot of the time. Some examples of the resulting (good and bad) newspaper articles can be vieved here.
One of such "outreach" highlights to my opinion occurred, when our TREE review on the effects of contraceptive pill on mate choice was made into a freely downloadable rap song “She’s ovulating” at http://bababrinkman.bandcamp.com/track/shes-ovulating :)