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

Matthew Walsh

University of Texas at Arlington, USA

This presentation will address several broad questions about the connection between developmental plasticity and evolutionary processes. This will include experimental studies that evaluated the developmental conditions that determine the expression and evolution of phenotypic responses that persist for multiple generations (i.e. transgenerational plasticity) in waterfleas. I will then use a meta-analysis to generalize our understanding of this link between developmental plasticity and multi-generation responses across taxa and stressors. Second, I will describe resurrection experiments that my lab and I performed in lakes in Wisconsin, USA where we hatched decades-old resting eggs to test the connection between developmental plasticity and adaptation (i.e. does developmental plasticity facilitate or constrain evolution?). Finally, we will use new fish introduction experiments in lakes in Alaska, USA to test the influence of increased predation during development and the expression of behavioral plasticity.






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