The environment plays an active role in the construction of form and function during development. As such, it can play an important role in the production and inheritance of phenotypic variation. Three areas of this new approach to development and evolution will be discussed:
– Developmental plasticity, wherein signals from predators, diet, sunlight, and conspecifics can alter a developmental trajectory towards one of greater fitness. Models, such as genetic assimilation, predict that such environmentally induced changes can become fixed into the genome.
– Developmental symbiosis, wherein organisms co-develop and need the signals from another species in order to develop normal parts and bodily functions.
– Epigenetic inheritance, wherein environmentally induced conformational alterations to the chromatin (DNA methylation, histone acetylation) or to other cellular components can be stably inherited from one generation to the next.
In the seminar we will discus the evidence for these interactions, the relationships that these views have for redirecting our studies of evolution and development, and the possible medical and philosophical relevance of these views.
Scott F. GILBERT
Howard A. Schneiderman Professor of Biology, Department of Biology, Swarthmore College; Finland Distinguished Professor, University of Helsinki|
Professor of History and Philosophy of Biology and the Theory of Evolution, Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Tel Aviv University|
Howard A. Schneiderman Professor of Biology, Department of Biology, Swarthmore College; Finland Distinguished Professor, University of Helsinki
|1971 BA, Wesleyan University, Connecticut|
|1976 MA, History of Biology, The Johns Hopkins University|
|1976 Ph.D., Biology, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland|
|1976-1980 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Wisconsin|
|since 1980 Department of Biology, Swarthmore College|
|1983-1984 Associate Scientist, Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology|
|1987-1988 Associate Scientist, Thomas Jefferson University|
|1990-1991 Visiting Professor, University of Helsinki|
Professor of History and Philosophy of Biology and the Theory of Evolution, Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Tel Aviv University
| ||Fields of study: genetics, epigenetics, theoretical biology, evolutionary biology, behavioural ecology, history of philosophy|
| ||Places of study: Beer Sheva University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, London University|
|1976 B. SC. in Biology from Ben-Gurion University, Israel|
|1980 M.Sc. (with distinction) in Microbiology from Ben-Gurion University, Israel|
|1988 Ph.D. in Genetics from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem|
|1990-1993 Lecturer in the Cohn Institute, Tel-Aviv University|
|1993-2000 Senior Lecturer|
|1994-1995 Fellow of Collegium Budapest|
|1997-1998 Fellow of Institute for Advanced Studies, Berlin|
|since 2000 Associate Professor in the Cohn Institute, Tel-Aviv University|