JustinCarroll.jpgMr Justin Carroll


Email jcarroll [at] connect [dot] carleton [dot] ca
Telephone +1 613 520 2600 (ext. 3866)
Fax +1 613 520 3539

Research Interests

I am currently studying the evolution of senescence, and how it can be shaped by external factors such as predation.

Rates of senescence are highly variable in the animal kingdom, and senescence itself presents an evolutionary paradox.  One reason that senescence may have evolved is that selection tends to weed out deleterious traits less effectively when they occur later in an organim's life, since most organisms tend to die from external causes such as predation or starvation.  Evolutionary theory predicts that changes in extrinsic rates of mortality can have consequences for the evolution of senescence, causing species with high rates of mortality to evolve high rates of senescence.

One of the most common sources of mortality is predation, and animals have evolved many strategies to help avoid predators.  Two common strategies are crypsis (also called camouflage) and aposematism (an aversive defense such as a noxious or poisonous chemical, paired with a conspicuous signal like bright coloration).  There is some evidence that species with aversive defenses have longer life spans than those which rely on crypsis to avoid predation.

My research is currently focused on characterizing the relative effectiveness of crypsis and aposematism as antipredation strategies in an avian predation system, and measuring rates of senescence in cryptic and aposematic species of moths and butterflies.


Carroll, J. & Sherratt, T.N. (2013) A direct comparison of the effectiveness of two anti-predator strategies under field conditions J. oF Zoology. 291 (4): 279-285

Carroll, J., Korshikov E. & Sherratt, T.N. (2011). Post-reproductive senescence in moths as a consequence of kin selection: Blest's theory revisited. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 104 (3): 633-641.

Dmitriew, C., J. Carroll & L. Rowe. (2009) Effects of early growth conditions on body composition, allometry, and survival in the ladybird beetle (Harmonia axyridis). Canadian Journal of Zoology 87, 175-182.

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