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Keywords and Concepts in Evolutionary Developmental Biology

Keywords and Concepts in Evolutionary Developmental Biology

Edited by Brian K. Hall and Wendy M. Olson

ISBN 9780674022409

Publication date: 09/01/2006

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The new field of evolutionary developmental biology is one of the most exciting areas of contemporary biology. The fundamental principle of evolutionary developmental biology ("evo-devo") is that evolution acts through inherited changes in the development of the organism. "Evo-devo" is not merely a fusion of the fields of developmental and evolutionary biology, the grafting of a developmental perspective onto evolutionary biology, or the incorporation of an evolutionary perspective into developmental biology. Evo-devo strives for a unification of genomic, developmental, organismal, population, and natural selection approaches to evolutionary change. It draws from development, evolution, paleontology, ecology, and molecular and systematic biology, but has its own set of questions, approaches, and methods.

Keywords and Concepts in Evolutionary Developmental Biology is the first comprehensive reference work for this expanding field. Covering more than fifty central terms and concepts in entries written by leading experts, Keywords offers an overview of all that is embraced by this new subdiscipline of biology, providing the core insights and ideas that show how embryonic development relates to life-history evolution, adaptation, and responses to and integration with environmental factors.


  • With the recent explosion of interest in evolutionary developmental biology, fueled by advances in molecular analysis, this work arrives at an extremely important time...Chapters are thoughtfully written by an extraordinarily wide range of scientists from nearly every perspective of evolution and development.

    —K. Crawford, Choice


  • Brian K. Hall is University Research Professor, Department of Biology, Dalhousie University.
  • Wendy M. Olson is Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Northern Iowa.

Book Details

  • 496 pages
  • 0-15/16 x 5-13/16 x 8-7/8 inches
  • Harvard University Press