Plant developmental evolution
The relatively new field of plant evolutionary-developmental biology (‘evo-devo’) seeks to understand how and why plant morphological characters have evolved to produce the tremendous diversity of form in living plants. It draws from concepts and techniques of molecular biology, developmental biology, genetics, genomics, evolutionary biology and ecology, and attempts to synthesize principles from these disciplines to yield an understanding of how developmental systems respond to selection pressures for novel characters. It also seeks to characterize how evolution moulds complex traits, as well as the constraints that prevent such traits from reaching ‘optimal’ configurations. This meeting will draw together researchers in plant evo-devo for exchange of ideas, information about current research, and discussion of future directions for the field. It will be organised into four sessions; three will be devoted to (1) floral development, (2) vegetative meristems, leaves, and inflorescences, and (3) plasticity and life history evo-devo and a fourth morning will be devoted to speakers who have been selected to give a talk following the submission of a poster abstract.
Eighteen leading scientists will speak at the Symposium. We hope that this will stimulate focused discussion and the exchange of ideas at what will be a relatively small (around 120 delegates) and informal meeting. There will be a poster session, selected talks, discussion and a conference dinner.