Positions

Overview

  • I am originally from Southern California, but my family moved a lot, so I lived in every part of the United States before heading to college. After gaining an English Literature degree, I had a variety of jobs — newspaper reporter, taxi driver, wild animal trainer.... Training lions for the movie business awakened my interest in biology, so I went back to school, eventually getting my Ph.D. in biology.

    My early research was field-based. I have done field research in several parts of the United States, Venezuela, East Africa, Micronesia, and Papua New Guinea. Once I became interested in the biology of aging, my research became more laboratory oriented. Perhaps because of my background in English, I have always been eager to communicate the excitement of science to the public at large. In that capacity I have written popular books, planned museum exhibits, and produced a regular newspaper column on science.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2019 Sex differences in health and aging: a dialog between the brain and gonad? 2019
    2019 Loss of Neurogenesis in Aging Hydra 2019
    2019 Serum Cobalamin and Folate Concentrations in Common Marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) with Chronic Lymphocytic Enteritis 2019
    2019 Response to genes that improved fitness also cost modern humans: Evidence for genes with antagonistic effects on longevity and disease 2019
    2019 Creating the Next Generation of Translational Geroscientists 2019
    2019 Innovative approaches in cognitive aging 2019
    2018 Aging as a Biological Target for Prevention and Therapy 2018
    2018 Comment on "the plateau of human mortality: Demography of longevity pioneers" 2018
    2018 Do Female Dogs Age Differently Than Male Dogs? 2018
    2018 Is antagonistic pleiotropy ubiquitous in aging biology? 2018
    2018 The comparative biology of mitochondrial function and the rate of aging 2018
    2018 The mitochondrial contribution to animal performance, adaptation, and life-history variation 2018
    2017 The development of a specific pathogen free (SPF) barrier colony of marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) for aging research 2017
    2017 Sustained NFκB inhibition improves insulin sensitivity but is detrimental to muscle health 2017
    2016 Perspectives in aging: Nutritional and energetic interventions 2016
    2016 Disease drivers of aging 2016
    2016 Barriers to the Preclinical Development of Therapeutics that Target Aging Mechanisms 2016
    2016 Evaluating Health Span in Preclinical Models of Aging and Disease: Guidelines, Challenges, and Opportunities for Geroscience 2016
    2016 Frameworks for Proof-of-Concept Clinical Trials of Interventions That Target Fundamental Aging Processes 2016
    2016 Strategies and Challenges in Clinical Trials Targeting Human Aging 2016
    2016 Sex Differences in Lifespan 2016
    2016 Measures of healthspan as indices of aging in Mice-A recommendation 2016
    2016 A cross-sectional study of male and female C57BL/6Nia mice suggests lifespan and healthspan are not necessarily correlated 2016
    2016 Significant life extension by ten percent dietary restriction 2016
    2016 The companion dog as a model for the longevity dividend 2016
    2015 Sex Differences in Longevity and in Responses to Anti-Aging Interventions: A Mini-Review 2015
    2015 Longevity and GAPDH stability in bivalves and mammals: A convenient marker for comparative gerontology and proteostasis 2015
    2015 Age-related cellular changes in the long-lived bivalve A. islandica 2015
    2015 Corrigendum to Chronic inhibition of mTOR by rapamycin modulates cognitive and non-cognitive components of behavior throughout lifespan in mice [Neuroscience, 223, (2012), 102-113] DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.06.054 2015
    2015 Health effects of long-term rapamycin treatment: The impact on mouse health of enteric rapamycin treatment from four months of age throughout life 2015
    2015 The human prenatal sex ratio a major surprise 2015
    2015 Long-lived species have improved proteostasis compared to phylogenetically-related shorter-lived species 2015
    2015 Commentary: Is Alzheimer's disease uniquely human? 2015
    2015 Hydra, a powerful model for aging studies 2015
    2015 Use of Nerve Conduction Velocity to Assess Peripheral Nerve Health in Aging Mice 2015
    2014 Aging and energetics' 'Top 40' future research opportunities 2010-2013 2014
    2014 Commentary: Is Alzheimer's disease uniquely human? 2014
    2014 Mapping ecologically relevant social behaviours by gene knockout in wild mice 2014
    2014 Superior proteome stability in the longest lived animal 2014
    2014 APPL1 potentiates insulin sensitivity by facilitating the binding of IRS1/2 to the insulin receptor 2014
    2014 Rapamycin extends life and health in C57BL/6 mice 2014
    2014 Fibroblasts from long-lived species of mammals and birds show delayed, but prolonged, phosphorylation of ERK 2014
    2014 Identification of Ssm1b, a novel modifier of DNA methylation, and its expression during mouse embryogenesis 2014
    2013 Resistance to genotoxic stresses in arctica islandica, the longest living noncolonial animal: Is extreme longevity associated with a multistress resistance phenotype? 2013
    2013 Testing predictions of the oxidative stress hypothesis of aging using a novel invertebrate model of longevity: The giant clam (Tridacna derasa) 2013
    2013 Reduced mitochondrial ROS, enhanced antioxidant defense, and distinct age-related changes in oxidative damage in muscles of long-lived Peromyscus leucopus 2013
    2013 Modulation of methuselah expression targeted to Drosophila insulin-producing cells extends life and enhances oxidative stress resistance 2013
    2013 Senescence in natural populations of animals: Widespread evidence and its implications for bio-gerontology 2013
    2012 Enteric-delivered rapamycin enhances resistance of aged mice to pneumococcal pneumonia through reduced cellular senescence 2012
    2012 Fat-specific DsbA-L overexpression promotes adiponectin multimerization and protects mice from diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance 2012
    2012 Chronic inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin by rapamycin modulates cognitive and non-cognitive components of behavior throughout lifespan in mice 2012
    2012 Primate aging in the mammalian scheme: The puzzle of extreme variation in brain aging 2012
    2012 Ageing: Mixed results for dieting monkeys 2012
    2012 Within-and between-species study of extreme longevity-comments, commonalities, and goals 2012
    2011 Comparative biology of mammalian telomeres: Hypotheses on ancestral states and the roles of telomeres in longevity determination 2011
    2011 Attenuation of liver insoluble protein carbonyls: Indicator of a longevity determinant? 2011
    2011 Extreme longevity is associated with increased resistance to oxidative stress in Arctica islandica, the longest-living non-colonial animal 2011
    2011 Comparative cellular biogerontology: Primer and prospectus 2011
    2011 New species longevity record for the northern quahog (=hard clam), mercenaria mercenaria 2011
    2011 Tail tendon break time: A biomarker of aging? 2011
    2011 Maximum shell size, growth rate, and maturation age correlate with longevity in bivalve molluscs 2011
    2011 Blind cave salamanders age very slowly: A new member of Methuselah's Bestiary 2011
    2011 Candidate bird species for use in aging research 2011
    2011 The development of small primate models for aging research 2011
    2010 Cats, "Rats," and Bats: The comparative biology of aging in the 21st century 2010
    2010 Thermal windows on Brazilian free-tailed bats facilitate thermoregulation during prolonged flight 2010
    2010 Recent advances in vertebrate aging research 2009 2010
    2010 Animal models of reproductive aging: What can they tell us? 2010
    2010 Methusaleh's Zoo: How Nature provides us with Clues for Extending Human Health Span 2010
    2009 The long lifespan of two bat species is correlated with resistance to protein oxidation and enhanced protein homeostasis 2009
    2009 Longevity is associated with increased vascular resistance to high glucose-induced oxidative stress and inflammatory gene expression in Peromyscus leucopus 2009
    2009 Comparative biology of aging 2009
    2009 Is there a role for new invertebrate models for aging research? 2009
    2008 Endothelial function and vascular oxidative stress in long-lived GH/IGF-deficient Ames dwarf mice 2008
    2008 Testing hypotheses of aging in long-lived mice of the genus Peromyscus: Association between longevity and mitochondrial stress resistance, ROS detoxification pathways, and DNA repair efficiency 2008
    2008 Polymorphic microsatellite loci for the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) designed using a cost- and time-efficient method 2008
    2008 Polymorphic microsatellite loci for the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) designed using a cost- and time-efficient method 2008
    2008 Oxidative stress in vascular senescence: Lessons from successfully aging species 2008
    2008 Advances in vertebrate aging research 2007 2008
    2007 Vascular superoxide and hydrogen peroxide production and oxidative stress resistance in two closely related rodent species with disparate longevity 2007
    2007 Low rates of hydrogen peroxide production by isolated heart mitochondria associate with long maximum lifespan in vertebrate homeotherms 2007
    2007 A proposal to sequence genomes of unique interest for research on aging 2007
    2007 Vertebrate aging research 2006 2007
    2007 PohnB6F1: A cross of wild and domestic mice that is a new model of extended female reproductive life span 2007
    2006 Does caloric restriction extend life in wild mice? 2006
    2006 The author's reply 2006
    2006 Altered growth characteristics of skin fibroblasts from wild-derived mice, and genetic loci regulating fibroblast clone size 2006
    2006 Why women live longer than men: Sex differences in longevity 2006
    2006 Genetic modulation of hormone levels and life span in hybrids between laboratory and wild-derived mice 2006
    2005 The eye of the laboratory mouse remains anatomically adapted for natural conditions 2005
    2005 Science fact and the SENS agenda 2005
    2005 Cellular replicative capacity correlates primarily with species body mass not longevity 2005
    2005 A new field record for bat longevity 2005
    2005 Diverse aging rates in metazoans: Targets for functional genomics 2005
    2004 Is aging programmed? 2004
    2004 Rebuttal to Bredesen: 'The non-existent aging program: How does it work?' 2004
    2004 A technique for non-invasively detecting stress response in cougars 2004
    2004 Ageing studies on bats: A review 2004
    2004 The aging factor in health and disease: The promise of basic research on aging 2004
    2004 On Herrera and Jagadeeswaran's "Annual Fish as a Genetic Model for Aging" 2004
    2004 Declining immunity with age in the wild. 2004
    2004 Fecal corticosteroid levels in free-living populations of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and southern red-backed voles (Clethrionomys gapperi) 2004
    2003 Longevity genes: From primitive organisms to humans 2003
    2003 Are mice calorically restricted in nature? 2003
    2003 Introduction to animal models 2003
    2002 Longer life spans and delayed maturation in wild-derived mice 2002
    2002 A mouse's tale 2002
    2001 Does caloric restriction in the laboratory simply prevent overfeeding and return house mice to their natural level of food intake? 2001
    2001 A reliable assessment of 8-oxo-2-deoxyguanosine levels in nuclear and mitochondrial DNA using the sodium iodide method to isolate DNA 2001
    2001 Comparative biology of aging in birds: An update 2001
    2001 An experimental paradigm for the study of slowly aging organisms 2001
    2001 Foreword 2001
    2001 History and prospects: Symposium on organisms with slow aging 2001
    2001 Effect of capture and season on fecal glucocorticoid levels in deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and red-backed voles (Clethrionomys gapperi) 2001
    2001 Exceptional cellular resistance to oxidative damage in long-lived birds requires active gene expression 2001
    2001 Genetic variability in responses to caloric restriction in animals and in regulation of metabolism and obesity in humans 2001
    2001 Neuroendocrine and pharmacological manipulations to assess how caloric restriction increases life span 2001
    2000 Canine detectives: The nose knows - Or does it? [1] 2000
    2000 Why do we age? 2000
    2000 Fecal glucocorticoids: A noninvasive method of measuring adrenal activity in wild and captive rodents 2000
    2000 Animal models of aging (worms to birds) 2000
    2000 Mouse (Mus musculus) stocks derived from tropical islands: New models for genetic analysis of life-history traits 2000
    1999 Erratum: Large animals in the fast lane (Sciences (July 9) (199)) 1999
    1999 Large animals in the fast lane [1] 1999
    1999 Exotic mice as models for aging research: Polemic and prospectus 1999
    1999 Exotic mice for aging: Authors' reply 1999
    1998 Theories of aging: An overview 1998
    1998 Cultured renal epithelial cells from birds and mice: Enhanced resistance of avian cells to oxidative stress and DNA damage 1998
    1997 Birds as models of aging in biomedical research 1997
    1997 Comparative aging and life histories in mammals 1997
    1997 Issues in the choice of genetic configuration for animal aging models 1997
    1997 Small nonhuman primates as potential models of human aging 1997
    1996 Genetic analysis of ageing: Role of oxidative damage and environmental stresses 1996
    1996 The evolution of the antiaging action of dietary restriction: A hypothesis 1996
    1996 The uses of intraspecific variation in aging research 1996
    1995 The evolution of avian senescence patterns: Implications for understanding primary aging processes 1995
    1995 Aging and caloric restriction: Human effects and mode of action 1995
    1995 Birds as animal models for the comparative biology of aging: A prospectus 1995
    1995 The evolution of avian senescence patterns: implications for understanding primary aging processes 1995
    1994 Sexual selection in flour beetles: The relationship between sperm precedence and male olfactory attractiveness 1994
    1994 Fly now, die later: Life-history correlates of gliding and flying in mammals 1994
    1994 Menopause: An evolutionary perspective 1994
    1994 Selecting animal models of human aging: Inbred strains often exhibit less biological uniformity than F1 hybrids 1994
    1994 The New Guinea singing dog: taxonomy, captive studies and conservation priorities 1994
    1993 FRAR course on laboratory approaches to aging. The comparative perspective and choice of animal models in aging research. 1993
    1993 Retarded senescence in an insular population of Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) 1993
    1993 The comparative perspective and choice of animal models in aging research 1993
    1993 The use of trained dogs to discriminate human scent: A reply 1993
    1992 Forensic DNA typing [2] 1992
    1992 Primate longevity: Its place in the mammalian scheme 1992
    1991 A test of the sequential assessment game: fighting in the bowl and doily spider Frontinella pyramitela 1991
    1991 Invertebrates 1991
    1991 Mammalian aging, metabolism, and ecology: Evidence from the bats and marsupials 1991
    1991 Testing the individual odour theory of canine olfaction 1991
    1990 Sources of intraspecific variation in sperm precedence in red flour beetles 1990
    1989 Natural selection, dietary restriction, and extended longevity. 1989
    1989 Life extension by dietary restriction in the bowl and doily spider, Frontinella pyramitela 1989
    1986 Sex-ratio manipulation in the common opossum 1986
    1986 Demography and the Evolution of Cooperative Breeding in the Bicolored Wren, Campylorhynchus Griseus 1986
    1985 Reproductive enhancement by helpers and an experimental inquiry into its mechanism in the bicolored wren 1985
    1984 A classification of alternative reproductive behaviors and methods for field-testing ESS models 1984
    1984 Introduction to the symposium: Alternative reproductive tactics 1984
    1983 A game theoretical interpretation of male combat in the bowl and doily spider (Frontinella pyramitela) 1983
    1979 Territorial defence in speckled wood butterflies: why does the resident always win? 1979

    Book

    Year Title Altmetric
    2011 Handbook of the Biology of Aging 2011
    2011 Preface 2011
    2011 Handbook of the Biology of Aging 2011
    2005 Handbook of the Biology of Aging 2005
    2005 Preface 2005
    2005 Handbook of the Biology of Aging 2005

    Chapter

    Year Title Altmetric
    2016 Human Life History Evolution: New Perspectives on Body and Brain Growth.  221-234. 2016
    2015 The geroscience hypothesis: Is it possible to change the rate of aging?.  1-36. 2015
    2014 Primate models for human brain aging and neurological diseases.  139-170. 2014
    2011 Sex differences in longevity and aging.  479-495. 2011
    2010 Animal size, metabolic rate, and survival, among and within species.  27-41. 2010
    2010 Introduction: Lifespans and pathologies present at death in laboratory animals.  1-26. 2010
    2010 The evolutionary context of human aging and degenerative disease 2010
    2006 Historical Development of Animal Models of Aging.  1-8. 2006
    2005 A Critical Evaluation of Nonmammalian Models for Aging Research.  449-467. 2005
    2005 Growth and Aging. Why Do Big Dogs Die Young?.  512-533. 2005
    2005 Senescence in Wild Populations of Mammals and Birds.  243-266. 2005

    Research Overview

  • One of the more intriguing problems in biology is why animals age. No law of nature dictates that this should be so. Why can’t nature, which is so successful at producing healthy adults from single fertilized eggs, do the seemingly much simpler task of keeping that adult healthy through time? Moreover, why do some animals like mice age quickly, while others like bats, birds, whales, and people age slowly. It is these question that focus and guide my research.

    Aging is not just an abstract and intriguing biological problem. It is the number one cause of death and disability in today’s world, vastly more significant than Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, or heart disease, because aging is the major risk for all of them plus a host of other health problems.

    The long-term goal of my research is to develop treatments to slow the aging process, thus keeping people fit and healthy longer. My laboratory works with different animal species, especially those which are more successful at aging than humans. We work on exotic species, like clams that live more than 500 years, and hydra that don’t age at all, in order to discover such treatments. We also develop measures of laboratory animal health, so that we can assess whether a treatment that makes a mouse live longer also improves the quality of its life.
  • Teaching Overview

  • Biology of Aging, Evolution, Ecology of Infectious Diseases, Scientific Communication
  • Teaching Activities

  • BY398 - Undergrad Research - RES (Fall Term 2019) 2019
  • BY429 - Intro to Evolutionary Process (Fall Term 2019) 2019
  • BY491 - Biology Capstone - Evolution (Fall Term 2019) 2019
  • BY629 - Evolutionary Biology (Fall Term 2019) 2019
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Fall Term 2019) 2019
  • BY695 - Special Topics in Biology I (Summer Term 2019) 2019
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Summer Term 2019) 2019
  • BY280 - Biology of Aging (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • BY398 - Undergrad Research - RES (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • BY540 - Biology of Aging (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • BY699 - Thesis Research (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • BY398 - Undergrad Research - RES (Fall Term 2018) 2018
  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Fall Term 2018) 2018
  • BY699 - Thesis Research (Fall Term 2018) 2018
  • UHP153 - Interdisciplinary: Biology (Fall Term 2018) 2018
  • UHP253 - Interdisciplinary: Biology (Fall Term 2018) 2018
  • UHP353 - Interdisciplinary: Biology (Fall Term 2018) 2018
  • BY398 - Undergrad Research - RES (Summer Term 2018) 2018
  • BY111 - Ext Topics Contemp Biology (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • BY398 - Undergrad Research - RES (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • BY699 - Thesis Research (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • BY398 - Undergrad Research - RES (Fall Term 2017) 2017
  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Summer Term 2017) 2017
  • BY695 - Special Topics in Biology I (Spring Term 2017) 2017
  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Spring Term 2017) 2017
  • BY795 - Special Topics in Biology I (Spring Term 2017) 2017
  • BY398 - Undergrad Research - RES (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • HON153 - Interdisc: Biology (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • HON253 - Interdisc:Biology (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • HON353 - Interdisc:Biology (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • BY102 - Topics Contemporary Bio Lab (Summer Term 2016) 2016
  • BY398 - Undergrad Research - RES (Summer Term 2016) 2016
  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Summer Term 2016) 2016
  • BY101 - Topics in Contemporary Biology (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • BY102 - Topics Contemporary Bio Lab (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • BY102 - Topics Contemporary Bio Lab (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • BY102 - Topics Contemporary Bio Lab (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • BY102 - Topics Contemporary Bio Lab (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • BY102 - Topics Contemporary Bio Lab (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • BY102 - Topics Contemporary Bio Lab (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • BY101 - Topics in Contemporary Biology (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • BY102 - Topics Contemporary Bio Lab (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • BY102 - Topics Contemporary Bio Lab (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • BY102 - Topics Contemporary Bio Lab (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • BY102 - Topics Contemporary Bio Lab (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • BY102 - Topics Contemporary Bio Lab (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • BY102 - Topics Contemporary Bio Lab (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • BY102 - Topics Contemporary Bio Lab (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • BY799 - Dissertation Research (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • BY595 - Special Topics in Biology I (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • BY695 - Special Topics in Biology I (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • BY795 - Special Topics in Biology I (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • BY398 - Undergrad Research - RES (Fall Term 2014) 2014
  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Fall Term 2014) 2014
  • HON153 - Interdisc: BIology (Fall Term 2014) 2014
  • HON253 - Interdisc:Biology (Fall Term 2014) 2014
  • HON353 - Interdisc:Biology (Fall Term 2014) 2014
  • BY398 - Undergrad Research - RES (Summer Term 2014) 2014
  • Full Name

  • Steven Austad