Development is a complex and highly dynamic process involving the cross talk among genes, maternal effects and environmental circumstances. Widespread evidence from plant to animal species shows that variation in developmental conditions can modulate life-history trajectories and influence key traits, such as growth, reproduction, and senescence. These effects are not limited to a single generation but can also be passed on to future generations. Development Strategies and Biodiversity aims to bring together studies of early life effects from the fields of evolutionary biology, global change biology, and biomedicine to synthesise and improve current knowledge of the mechanisms involved, and how variation in early-life conditions translates into Darwinian fitness outcomes. Relying on examples of organisms' responses to the ongoing and future environmental challenges of the Anthropocene, this book takes a novel approach to address the adaptive meaning of early-life effects. The book has a broad scientific approach, targeting eco-evolutionary biologists, behavioural biologists, eco-physiologists, eco-toxicologists, as well as epidemiologists and biomedical scientists.
David Costantini is Professor at Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris. His research combines studies of mechanisms and functions to understand the causes and consequences of phenotypic variation in animals. He authored 152 publications, including two books as an author. He was the recipient of the International Prize for a scholar of Organism Evolutionary Zoology issued from the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in 2013. He has been included in the list of top 1% of the most-cited scientists across all scientific fields created by the University of Stanford in 2019.
Valeria Marasco's research focuses on proximate factors underlying the effects of changing environmental conditions on phenotypic flexibility and life-history strategies with an emphasis on early life effects. Since 2017, she works at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Comparative Behavioural Research (Vetmeduni Vienna, Austria) as a Post-Doctoral Fellow. She was initially funded by a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (2017-2019) and currently by a Lise Meitner FWF Fellowship.