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Ecological Developmental Biology

The Environmental Regulation of Development, Health, and Evolution

Second Edition

Scott F. Gilbert and David Epel

23 June 2015

ISBN: 9781605353449

576 pages

Price: £99.99



The only book that, in one place:

- details the three main epigenetic sources of phenotype: symbionts, altered chromatin structure, and plasticity.

- discusses the various ways that development can be disrupted: teratogens, endocrine disruptors, global climate change, and mismatches between diet and environment.

- documents the evidence for an extended evolutionary synthesis involving the modern synthesis, evo-devo, and eco-evo-devo.

About the Author(s)

Scott F. Gilbert and David Epel

Scott F. Gilbert, a Senior Research Associate at Swarthmore College and the Finland Distinguished Professor at the University of Helsinki Institute of Biotechnology, teaches developmental biology, developmental genetics, and the history of biology. After receiving his B.A. from Wesleyan University, he pursued his graduate and postdoctoral research at The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Gilbert is the recipient of several awards, including the first Viktor Hamburger Award for excellence in developmental biology education, the 2004 Alexander Kowalevsky Prize for evolutionary developmental biology, honorary degrees from the Universities of Helsinki and Tartu, and the Medal of François I from the Collège de France.

David Epel is the Jane and Marshall Steel Jr. Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove CA. He did his undergraduate studies at Wayne State University and then graduate and postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Epel has been a Guggenheim Fellow, is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the California Academy of Sciences, and an Overseas Fellow of Churchill College and Life Fellow of Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge. His honors include the Cox Medal for Fostering Undergraduate Research at Stanford and the Ed Ricketts Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Marine Sciences. Epel's research focused on cell biology of development, especially the activation of the egg at fertilization, the unique physiology of the embryo and the cellular mechanisms of embryo protection.

Table of Contents

    Part 1. Environmental Modes of Normal Development
    1. Developmental Plasticity: The Environment as a Normal Agent in Producing Phenotypes
    2. Environmental Epigenetics: How Agents in the Environment Effect Molecular Changes in Development
    3. Developmental Symbiosis: Co-Development as a Strategy for Life
    Part 2. Ecological Developmental Biology and Disease States
    4. Developmental Physiology for Survival in Changing Environments
    5. Teratogenesis: Environmental Assaults on Development
    6. Endocrine Disruptors
    7. The Developmental Origin of Adult Diseases
    8. Developmental Models of Cancer and Aging
    Part 3. Toward a Developmental Evolutionary Synthesis
    9. The Modern Synthesis: Natural Selection of Allelic Variation
    10. Evolution through Developmental Regulatory Genes
    11. Environment, Development, and Evolution: Toward a New Evolutionary Synthesis
    Coda: Philosophical Concerns Raised by Ecological Developmental Biology


"This second edition, written by two of its pioneers, serves as a primer to the field and is intended for advanced undergraduate students, although it is equally appropriate for graduate students, faculty, and the broader public. The book is written in an engaging, clear, accessible prose, and richly illustrated with hundreds of high-quality images and graphs. This is a well-written and valuable volume, which deserves to be not just on bookshelves, but to be read by anyone interested in why and how development and evolution unfold the way they do." - Sofía Casasa and Armin P. Moczek, The Quarterly Review of Biology

"The degree to which genetics and the environment affect organismal development is an important question. Ecological Developmental Biology articulates this topic for today's researcher by integrating modern environmental issues such as climate change and pollution with disparate fields of modern biology. Ecological Developmental Biology is a good companion for the undergraduate or graduate interested in dwelling not only at the crossroads of molecular and ecological-based biology, but also in fields of public policy and philosophy." - Brenden Barco, Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine

"This is an ambitious, largely successful incorporation of new discoveries and rediscoveries into biology. The book is aimed at students and professionals who wish to understand their subdisciplines in a broader ecological, evolutionary, and social context." - J. Burger, CHOICE

"This is a book that deserves to be read. It presents complex information clearly and engagingly, in context and with the citations of the primary literature that an instructor needs to add depth to a topic." - F. Harvey Pough, Rochester Institute of Technology

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