James W. Vaupel

Laboratory of Survival and Longevity

Founding Director
Head of the Laboratory of Survival and Longevity
Head of the Laboratory of Evolutionary Biodemography


James W. Vaupel is Founding Director of the MPIDR and Head of the Laboratories of Survival and Longevity and of Evolutionary Demography.  Since January 2013 he has also been heading the newly founded Max-Planck Odense Center on the Biodemography of Aging. James W. Vaupel studied mathematical statistics and received his PhD in public policy at Harvard University. After serving as a professor at Duke University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Southern Denmark, he became Founding Director of the MPIDR in 1996. James W. Vaupel is a leading scientist in the field of aging research, and has been instrumental in developing and advancing the idea of the plasticity of longevity. He pioneered research on the heterogeneity of mortality risks, and on the deceleration of death rates at the highest ages.


Phone+49 (0)381 2081-103
Fax+49 (0)381 2081-403
Web Profiles user.demogr.mpg.de/jwv


Full Curriculum Vitae

Portraits and Interviews

Positions and Memberships

  • Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science
  • Member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • Regular Scientific Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Honorary Doctor of Civil Law, Newcastle University, United Kingdom

Projects (selected)

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  • Evolutionary Biodemography and the Age-Specific Mortality of Hydra Project details
  • DATLife – The Demography of Aging across the Tree of Life – Database Project details

MPIDR Publications (selected)

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Vaupel, J. W.:
Nature 464:7288, 536-542 (2010).
Christensen, K.; Doblhammer, G.; Rau, R.; Vaupel, J. W.:
Lancet 374:9696, 1196-1208 (2009).
Oeppen, J. E.; Vaupel, J. W.:
Science 296:5570, 1029- 1031 (2002).
Vaupel, J. W.; Carey, J. R.; Christensen, K.; Johnson, T. E.; Yashin, A. I.; Holm, N. V.; Iachine, I. A.; Kannisto, V.; Khazaeli, A. A.; Liedo, P.; Longo, V. D.; Zeng, Y.; Manton, K. G.; Curtsinger, J. W.:
Science 280:5365, 855-860 (1998).