I became interested in the relationships between evolution and development 10 years ago, after having been asked to give an introductory lecture on the embryological formation of the face and skull base in an endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery symposium. In spite of my protestations of ignorance in the subject, as I am not an embryologist, the organizers of the symposium convinced me that the subject was an important one about which surgeons should be reminded. I looked back among my student documents and remembered one of my teachers, Professor Alexis Dollander, who in 1976 introduced his lesson on human development of the head and neck by telling us that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny (Dollander 1979). When I interviewed colleagues of the embryology department in my university (Université de Lorraine, Nancy, France) to update my lecture, their first reaction was that relationships between phylogeny and ontogeny were an old matter about which no one was any longer interested and that the scheme formerly taught by Pr. Dollander had fallen into disfavor. Several years later, I organized a conference on the relationships between phylogeny and ontogeny with aim to understand in a different way the anatomy and diseases of the nose and paranasal sinuses (Jankowski 2010). One of the participants came to me and asked why I was referring to Haeckel’s theory in my lectures suggesting that I replace the phylogenic-ontogenic concept with a more acceptable evo-devo (evolution and development) theoretical framework that is currently in vogue. During the preparation of the meeting, phylogeny and ontogeny appeared to me, however, as words suggestive of evolution and development to describe the origins of the nose.


Paranasal Sinus Anterior Skull Base Olfactory Organ Gill Slit Introductory Lecture 
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© Springer-Verlag France 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger Jankowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculté de Médecine Service ORL - CHUUniversité de LorraineNancyFrance

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