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Photo credit: Patricia Wright


Speakers should limit the duration of their presentations to 30 minutes to ensure ample time for discussion and transition between speakers.

Click on the title of each presentation to view the abstract.

Saturday 11 March

17:30 – 18:30 Welcome Reception and drinks (bar)

18:30 – 19:30 Delegate introductions (Conference room)

19:30 Dinner

Sunday 12 March

Introductory lecture (Chair: Pat Wright) (Conference room)

09:00 – 09:55 Sophie Jarriault (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Strasbourg, France)

You are what you eat: how the environment impacts cellular plasticity

Session I: Developmental plasticity as a driver of evolution (Chair: Katie Gilmour)

10:00 – 10:40 Matthew Walsh (University of Texas at Arlington, USA)

Environmental signals, developmental plasticity and evolutionary change: insights from waterfleas

10:45 Refreshment break

11:15 – 11:55 Tobias Uller (University of Lund, Sweden)

Developmental plasticity and evolvability

12:00 -12:40 Alexander Little (McMaster University, Canada)

Plasticity, diversified bet-hedging, and robustness: what does it mean to be unstable?

12:45 Lunch

Session I (continued): Developmental plasticity as a driver of evolution (Chair: Pat Wright)

13:45 – 14:25 Armin Moczek (Indiana University Bloomington, USA)

Genomic mechanisms and evolutionary consequences of developmental plasticity in horned dung beetles

14:30 – 15:10 Jorge Contreras Garduño (UNAM, Unidad Morelia, Mexico)

The importance of the insect developmental stage for transgenerational immune memory

15:15 Refreshment break

15:45 – 16:25 Rajendhran Rajakumar (University of Ottawa, Canada)

Developmental plasticity of a superorganism from cells to societies: Eco-Evo-Devo of ants

An introduction to The Company of Biologists and JEB

16:30 – 17:00 Michaela Handel (Managing Editor, Journal of Experimental Biology)

19:30 Dinner

Monday 13 March

Session II: The rearing environment (Chair: Katie Gilmour)

09:00 – 09:40 Amy Newman (University of Guelph, Canada)

Long-term ecophysiological impacts of the early life environment on birds and mammals

09:45 – 10:25 Mylene Mariette (Doñana Biological Station, Spain and Deakin University, Australia)

Prenatal acoustic programming of development in birds

10:30 Refreshment break

11:00 – 11:40 Anne Bronikowski (Michigan State University, USA)

Early-life nutrition and temperature affect adult life histories in reptiles

11:45 – 12:25 Imroze Khan (Ashoka University, India)

Evolution of ageing & development of immunity: a tale of intertwined strands

12:30 Lunch

14:00 – 18:15 Social event 

19:30 Gala Dinner

Tuesday 14 March

Session III: Early life stress (Chair: Pat Wright)

09:00 – 09:40 Paula Brunton (University of Edinburgh, UK)

The impact of maternal stress on offspring brain development

09:45 – 10:25 Helen Eachus (University of Exeter, UK)

Early life stress: from adaptive plasticity to allostatic overload

10:30 Refreshment break

11:00 – 11:40 Linda Wilbrecht (University of California, Berkeley, USA)

Food, scarcity, and the development of learning and decision-making systems in mice

11:45 – 12:25 Daniel Ardia (Franklin & Marshall College, USA)

Temperature and immunity: temperature manipulation during embryonic development and its effect on the immune system and thermoregulatory performance

12:30 Lunch

Session IV: Hormones, epigenetics and other physiological mechanisms (Chair Katie Gilmour)

13:30 – 14:10 Simon Blanchet (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Moulis, France)

Beyond individuals: the use of population epigenetics to inform environmental conservation, management and restoration

14:15 – 14:55 Suvi Ruuskanen (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)

Early-life environmental effects on birds: mechanisms underlying long-lasting effects

15:00 Refreshment break

15:30 – 16:10 Neil Metcalfe (University of Glasgow, UK)

Intergenerational and early developmental physiological mechanisms that underlie phenotypic variation

16:15 – 17:00 General discussion (Chairs: Pat Wright and Katie Gilmour)

19:30 Dinner

Wednesday 15 March

By 10:00 Departure


Sponsored by:

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Developmental Plasticity: From Mechanisms to Evolutionary Processes

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About JEB

Journal of Experimental Biology is the leading journal in comparative 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.

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-fertilization of techniques and knowledge across specialization 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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