Telomere dynamics in non-model organisms: Developing a standardised approach

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Biological Sciences


United Kingdom


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Monaghan P (2018) Understanding diversity in telomere dynamics. in Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences

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Wilbourn RV (2018) The relationship between telomere length and mortality risk in non-model vertebrate systems: a meta-analysis. in Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences

Description The grant funded an international workshop which took place in Drymen, Scotland in August 2011. Discussion and collaborations emerging from the workshop have laid the foundation for a much larger network (funded by Leverhulme Trust in 2013) to take forward inter-disciplinary research into variation in telomere dynamics. Since 2013, the network has met annually and in 2017 we had our largest meeting to date involving over 70 delegates from all over the world.

It also resulted in a methods paper being published in Methods in Ecology and Evolution, authored by many of the delegates, that offered a consensus view of methods available for telomere length measurement. In early 2018, the network of researchers involved also produced a special issue of the esteemed journal, Phil Trans R Soc Lond B, including 14 articles covering a broad range of topics associated with understanding variation in telomere biology.
Exploitation Route The methodological consensus offered by the workshop will likely guide future investigations of telomere dynamics in different species, furthering our understanding of the causes of variation in telomere length and potential longevity among and within species.
Sectors Healthcare

Description International Workshop Grant
Amount £98,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Leverhulme Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2013 
End 10/2016
Description Measurements of telomere length at different life stages as predictive biomarkers of health, reproduction and longevity in dairy cattle
Amount £249,707 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/L007312/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2014 
End 03/2017