Intergenerational transfer of ageing: Parental age and offspring lifespan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Open Access permissions





Organisational units


The extent to which the age of parents at reproduction can affect offspring lifespan and other fitness-related traits is important in our understanding of the selective forces shaping life history evolution. In this article, the widely reported negative effects of parental age on offspring lifespan (the ‘Lansing effect’) is examined. Outlined herein are the potential routes whereby a Lansing effect can occur, whether effects might accumulate across multiple generations, and how the Lansing effect should be viewed as part of a broader framework, considering how parental age affects offspring fitness. The robustness of the evidence for a Lansing effect produced so far, potential confounding variables, and how the underlying mechanisms might best be unravelled through carefully designed experimental studies are discussed.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-937
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number10
Early online date30 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


    Research areas

  • ageing, gamete, Lansing effect, life history, parental care, senescence

View graph of relations

ID: 184201099

Related by journal
  1. Horizon Scan of the Belt and Road Initiative

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. A Horizon Scan of Emerging Global Biological Conservation Issues for 2020

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  3. Temporal Instability of Evidence Base: A Threat to Policy Making?

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle