Biological Sciences Seminar: “Social Relationships, Health, and Survival in the Wild”


Location: 283 Galvin Life Science

Beth Archie

The Department of Biological Sciences is pleased to present a seminar by Elizabeth Archie, the Clare Booth Luce Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame. The talk, “Social Relationships, Health, and Survival in the Wild,” will take place on Tuesday, October 28 at 4pm in 283 Galvin Life Science.

Social relationships can have profound effects on individual health. From humans to ants, social relationships affect disease exposure, stress, energy expenditure, and even immune responses. However, how these effects occur, and whether they play a role in the evolution of social behavior, remain largely unknown. In this talk, I will discuss recent discoveries from my lab at Notre Dame that address the links between social behavior and health in wild primates. These discoveries include the first evidence in a wild vertebrate that an individual’s position in a social network can affect the community of microbes living in their gut. In addition, we’ve found that an individual’s social environment, both as a juvenile and an adult, can predict their life span. These discoveries shed new light on the evolutionary costs and benefits of social relationships. Moreover, learning about social effects on health in primates can help us understand the origins of similar phenomena in humans. 

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