I am flattered that you should think of me to help you with the use of starters but I don't think I am particularly qualified to the task as you generally defined it. I have made and reported on the results of quite a few of the doughs that I have made using starters/preferments but I attribute what success I have had as much to luck or serendipity as anything else. One of the few intelligent things I think I did involving starters/preferments was to come up with the preferment dough calculating tool, and to do that I needed the help of Boy Hits Car (Mike), Bill/SFNM and scott r, all of whom offered helpful suggestions that ended up in the final design of the tool.
About the only book on starters that I have read is Ed Wood's book Classic Sourdoughs. I have also read a ton of articles on the internet on the subject of starters (and preferments), but I usually end up confused because of what appears to be conflicting information or information of questionable correctness. Not being a chemist, I can't resolve those conflicts. There is also a lot of seat of the pants home remedies whose technical underpinnings, even from many professionals, is either absent or suspect. However, one person whose writings I have thoroughly enjoyed is Didier Rosata, who is chief instructor at the San Francisco Baking Institute. His writings helped me better understand the practical aspects of the classic preferments (poolish, sponges, bigas, etc.), which helped me greatly when I wrote the definitions for those preferments for the forum's Pizza Glossary. His articles are available (in pdf form) at the SFBI website.
I had started using natural starters before I became a member of this forum but my use was with respect to breads, not pizza. After becoming a member of the forum, I read everything (in some cases, several times) that members like pizzanapoletana and bakerboy (a professional baker) wrote in posts on the forum. I also read everything that other astute members wrote on the subject, including Bill/SFNM, scott r, and Jeff Varasano, and others who appeared to have credible bread/pizza dough making experience. I looked for basic principles and concepts and cause and effect rather than deep technical explanations. I was also looking for an organizational structure or construct on which to base my efforts using starters/preferments. That is what was ultimately incorporated into the preferment dough calculating tool.
Now, when I want to use, modify or create a dough formulation using starters/preferments, I start with the tool, and that is what I suggest you consider. The tool is agnostic as to the type of flour used but the hydration of the dough must be compatible with the type of flour used. After that, the most important inputs are the amount of starter/preferment used (in relation to the weight of flour, water or total dough weight) and the hydration (percent of water) of the starter/preferment. Even when the inputs are known, the starter has to be a competent one, properly prepared, and properly maintained, with care given to how much water is used in the starter as it is periodically refreshed. Each starter has its own personality, which varies from one starter to another, so comprehending that personality and how to best use it is something that one should attempt to learn.
I now believe that you don't have to be an expert on the biochemical mechanisms of starters to achieve successful results but it certainly helps to know cause and effect principles and how starters and preferments, and especially their quantities, affect the finished results. I tried to explain some of these aspects in the thread opened on the tool in the Forum Info section of the forum. Understanding the effects of temperature on starters is also important, but unless one uses a proofing box (mainly in the winter) or a thermo-cooling unit such as the MR-138, which a few of the members own, some time will have to be spent on learning how temperature affects the starters/preferments in any given situation or application. For specifics on how to create and maintain starters/preferments, I would read the posts of the members of the forum who have achieved the best results using them.