European badgers are the focus of long-term field research by the Food & Environment Research Agency (FERA), seeking to shed new light on badger ecology and their role as a reservoir for bovine TB. In collaboration with FERA, we are using this model system to address evolutionary and mechanistic questions about senescence and explore its implications for disease transmission. We combine analyses of the 37 year life-history data set with targeted physiological field studies.


Published findings to date include:

Beirne, C., Waring, L., McDonald, R.A., Delahay, R., Young, A.J. (2016)

Age-related declines in immune response in a wild mammal are unrelated to immune cell telomere length

Proceedings of the Royal Society B

Beirne, C., Delahay, R., Young, A.J. (2015)

Sex differences in senescence: the role of intra-sexual competition in early adulthood

Proceedings of the Royal Society B

Beirne, C., Delahay, R., Hares, M., Young, A.J. (2014)

Age-related declines and disease-associated variation in immune cell telomere length in a wild mammal


Beirne, C. (2015)

The mechanisms of senescence in wild European badgers

PhD Thesis

We also conduct research on an array of social mammals,
from singular & plural cooperative breeders to communal breeders: