Evolutionary developmental biology seeks to open the 'black box' of development's role in evolution and in the evolution of developmental mechanisms. A group of leading researchers analyse the dynamic interaction of environmental factors with developmental and physiological processes and examine how environmental signals are translated into phenotypic change, from the molecular and cellular level to organisms and groups of organisms.
The extent to which the tempo and mode of evolution depend on the nature and causes of phenotypic variation remains one of the great unresolved issues in biology. This book represents an important synthesis of current approaches to the problem. --Keith S. Thomson, Professor of Natural History, Director of the Museum of Natural History, Oxford University "Ryuichi Matsuda and his work are unknown or at least underappreciated by evolutionary biologists. This book, which features stimulating essays and reviews, should correct this situation. The focus is on mechanisms (e.g. endocrinological) that enable environmental changes to initiate developmental changes that influence evolution. The chapters are filled with ideas and new perspectives that offer alternatives to the ways most evolutionists think." --David B. Wake, Professor of Integrative Biology and Curator, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley "This is a puzzling and very exciting collection. It introduces the environment into the ongoing evo-devo synthesis, and in so doing, it forces us to reconsider the significance of such concepts as heterochrony, metamorphosis, 'Lamarckism,' and the entire organism-environment relationship." --Ron Amundson, Department of Philosophy, University of Hawaii at Hilo
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Gerd B. Muller is Professor of Theoretical Biology at the University of Vienna and Chairman of the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research. He is a coeditor of Origination of Organismal Form (MIT Press, 2003) and Modeling Biology (MIT Press, 2007).