George R. Carmody Lecture with Dr. Lauren Brent

December 7, 2017 at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

Location:Fenn Lounge Residence Commons
Cost:Free
Audience:Alumni, Anyone, Carleton Community, Current Students, Faculty, Media, Prospective Students, Staff, Staff and Faculty
Key Contact:Andrew Simons
Contact Email:AndrewMSimons@cunet.carleton.ca
Contact Phone:613-520-2600 x 3869

George R Carmody Lecture

Title: Getting by with a little help: Friends, social networks, and fitness 

Dr. Lauren Brent

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour, University of Exeter, UK

Abstract: People who lack inter-personal relationships experience poorer health and reduced survival, with social isolation carrying a greater mortality risk than smoking and problem drinking. Perhaps even more unexpected is the fact that friendly relationships are by no means unusual in the animal kingdom – many other group-living species form similar bonds that may have similar fitness consequences. Uncovering just how deeply rooted the association between sociality and fitness is in our evolutionary past, along with the selective pressures that have shaped that association, therefore requires a cross-species approach. To begin, we need an in-depth understanding of the association between sociality and fitness, including a list of species in which this association exists, whether it is consistent across an individual’s life course, and whether it extends to the polyadic, ‘friend of a friend’, connections that make up most social networks. In this talk, I describe what is currently known about social networks and fitness in a range of taxa including a detailed description in one of our closest living primate relatives. Although the biology of friendship is a relatively new field of inquiry, results to date suggest the evolution of inter-personal relationships runs deep in mammalian systems, and ultimately bring us closer to understanding what it means to be human.

Tea & Coffee 6:00pm. Reception after Lecture

Everyone Welcome!