Join us for a conversation with Amy Boddy, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Cancer is a disease that affects most animals, however we have a limited understanding on comparative cancer rates. Here we report on 42 years of well curated necropsy data and estimate cancer rates across mammals. We find a great deal of variation in cancer vulnerabilities and predict a life history framework can help explain species specific cancer risk. This work highlights how a comparative approach to cancer can provide new insights into how species across the tree of life have dealt with cancer as a selective pressure.
After Dr. Boddy discusses her work, we will hear counterpoints from David Haig, George Putnam Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard, and Gunter Wagner, Alison Richard Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale. Attendees are encouraged to read Boddy et al. 2020, “Lifetime cancer prevalence and life history traits in mammals” (https://doi.org/10.1093/emph/eoaa015).