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Photo credit: Patricia Wright

Journal of Experimental Biology Symposium 2023

Developmental Plasticity: From Mechanisms to Evolutionary Processes

Organisers: Patricia A. Wright and Kathleen M. Gilmour

Date: 11-15 March 2023

Location: Tenuta il Cicalino, Massa Marittima, Italy

Although the concept that conditions encountered during early development can shape an animal’s phenotype is not new, in recent years developmental plasticity has gained prominence in new fields for several reasons. Epigenetics has revolutionized our understanding of the mechanisms underlying developmental plasticity, providing insight into how environmental experiences translate into altered phenotypes both within and between generations. This development, coupled with recognition that plasticity can differ among genotypes, has given new impetus to studies of how developmental plasticity may contribute to evolution. Finally, global change is providing an important and increasingly urgent lens for viewing developmental plasticity as a potential lifeline for species facing environmental challenges.

This meeting will bring together investigators who use innovative approaches across a range of taxa to understand evolutionary mechanisms and physiological processes of developmental plasticity.



The symposium is open to invited speakers and delegates only.

However, all presentations will be published as a special issue of Journal of Experimental Biology in early 2024.


Tenuta Il Cicalino

In the province of Grosseto in rural Tuscany, the small medieval town of Massa Marittima is just 130 km (81 miles) from Pisa and 225 km (140 miles) from Rome and is easily accessible by road and rail. Surrounded by the wonderful Maremman countryside of olive groves, fruit trees and vineyards, the symposium will be held at the Tenuta Il Cicalino Estate, with accommodation in a variety of beautifully restored, traditional Tuscan farmhouses.

Tenuta Il Cicalino

Località il Cicalino

58024 Massa Marittima (Grosseto)


Tel: +39 0566 902031

E-mail: info@cicalinogreen.it

Website: https://www.tenutacicalino.com/?lang=en



The nearest international airport to the conference venue is Pisa Galileo Galilei Airport (81 miles, 130km).

Alternatively, you can fly to either of the airports in Rome – Leonardo Da Vinci/Fiumicino (140miles/225 km) or Ciampino (149 miles/240 km).

You can travel from the airports in Pisa or Rome by train to Follonica, which is a 20-min taxi ride to the conference venue. Details of train timetables and prices can be found on the TrenItalia website. We can arrange a taxi from Follonica to/from the venue if you let us know expected arrival/departure times. Train tickets can be purchased online (type either ‘Pisa Aeroporto’, ‘Fiumicino Aeroporto’ or ‘Ciampino’ in the ‘From’ field and ‘Follonica’ in the ‘To’ field) or from the Information Office in the airport Arrivals Hall. Allow approximately 2 hours from Pisa and approximately 3.5 hours from Rome.

Alternatively, we may be able to provide transport (by taxi/minibus) from Pisa and Rome Airports to/from the conference venue for delegates arriving/leaving at similar times. Journey time to the venue is ~1.5 hours by taxi/minibus from Pisa, ~2.75 hours from Roma Fiumicino and 3 hours from Roma Ciampino, but allow extra time, where possible, as you may have to wait at the airport for other delegates to arrive.

Delegates should book their travel to ensure they arrive at the conference venue on the afternoon of Saturday 11 March 2023. Earliest check-in time is 12 noon.


Sponsored by:

Journal of Experimental biology logo


About JEB

Journal of Experimental Biology is the leading journal in comparative animal physiology. JEB publishes papers on the form and function of living organisms at all levels of biological organisation, from the molecular and subcellular to the integrated whole animal.

Covid measures

We will require all of our attendees to be fully vaccinated to attend our in-person events. We will be following the latest government guidelines regarding safety measures and social distancing, but will also be taking scientific advice to make sure we are doing all that we can to protect our delegates. The safety of our delegates is paramount and we are likely to take a cautious approach in any measures that we introduce.


Dependant care grant

We offer grants of up to £400 to help cover the costs of additional care for dependants while delegates/speakers are attending the meeting.

Deadline for applications: 1 February 2023

About JEB Symposia

The JEB Symposia were launched in 1978 at the suggestion of the then Editor-in-Chief John Treherne. Their aim was, and still is, to review knowledge and stimulate further research in an expanding topic of experimental biology and to bring together scientists from different areas to encourage cross-fertilisation of techniques and knowledge across specialisation boundaries. Since the first symposium on ‘Cellular oscillators’, the annual JEB symposia have covered a diverse array of topics within experimental biology, highlighting the relevance and power of the comparative approach to mainstream physiology.

The main aim of the JEB Symposia is to unite outstanding biologists and bring together their varied expertise on one particular subject.  It is a leisurely meeting with enough time to talk and to discuss. The number of symposium delegates is limited to invited speakers only.

In order that the proceedings of each symposium are made available to the community as soon as possible, speakers are invited to contribute a Review article to a ‘special issue’ of the journal. These special issues are freely available on the journal website at the time of publication.

Contact us

For questions regarding the symposium, please click on the link below

Manuscript submission

As part of the journal’s editorial strategy, all oral presentations will be published in the form of a Review article  in a special issue of Journal of Experimental Biology in early 2024.

Manuscripts should be a maximum of 7000 words (excluding title page, summary, references and figure captions), with up to 8 display items, and comply with our Submission Guidelines and Manuscript Preparation guidelines.

All invited Review articles for the JEB special issue should be submitted by 1 May 2023.

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