John Guerin

John Guerin is Director of the Centenarian Species and Rockfish Project (Oregon, USA) at, a very original research effort started in 1995 and focused on animals with negligible senescence. The goal of the project is to understand how long-lived animals are so successful at retarding aging, and applying this knowledge to extend the healthy lifespan of humans. These animals include rockfish, turtles and whales, all documented to live 200 years or longer without showing signs of aging. The project's research is now uncovering the mechanisms that allow continued vitality in these long-lived animals. With that knowledge it will help us understand why humans are healthy for many years, but then start having more and more age-related problems. Because of our aging population, the research will have enormous benefits for humanity, not only in greater health and enjoyment of later years, but in controlling the escalating costs of Social Security and medical care. Only a few projects in the world study long-lived animals. AgelessAnimals reports the latest research to both general and gerontological audiences. Current research from 14 pilot studies, located at twelve universities around the United States and two in Europe, encompass topics from Free-radical damage to DNA Micro-array gene expression.

Field observations have suggested for quite some time that certain fish, turtles and whales have extremely long maximum lifespan potential. Age validation techniques have since confirmed these observations, but scientific analysis to understand the genetic and biochemical basis of this longevity has occurred only recently. On the Home page of AgelessAnimals, the term 'negligible senescence' is defined, background information about long-lived animals is discussed, and age validation techniques are listed. Subsequent website pages list the various projects to date, including research results. Caleb Finch at USC coined the term "negligible senescence" to describe very slow or negligible aging (Finch 1990). He listed several animals with this characteristic, including rockfish, sturgeon, turtles, bivalves and possibly lobsters. Later in a paper from the first Symposium on Organisms with Slow Aging (which the Director of this project also spoke at), Finch further described criteria to test the occurrence of negligible aging. These include no observable age-related increase in mortality rate or decrease in reproduction rate after maturity, and no observable age-related decline in physiological capacity or disease resistance.