This workshop was held Feb 7-9, 2014.
Scientific evidence continues to emerge showing that a variety of adult health outcomes result from exposures to social and physical challenges experienced during early life. Our understanding of the links between early exposures and negative developmental outcomes and their mediating mechanisms is still relatively poor. Some of those links are believed to have emerged as adaptations. However, some traits may become harmful when expressed in environments that differ from those in which the trait originally evolved. How should practitioners deal with those biological traits? No proper answers currently exist.
Obtaining the answers requires the full integration and collaboration of diverse fields including evolution, ecology, child development, and medicine. Understanding the early origins of undesirable health outcomes is paramount in preventing those outcomes or ameliorating their effects when exposures are unavoidable. To that aim, this exploratory workshop will bring together 25 renowned experts and 11 trainees studying child development from a variety of angles. Our ultimate goal for this workshop is to identify new research questions in the field of child development using evolutionary approaches, which will form the framework for a CIHR Team Grant application.