Animal Behavior (ZOOL 606 and ZOOL 606L)
This course reviews theory and empirical studies on the mechanisms and evolution of animal behavior. In this course we explore proximate causal mechanisms such as signals and perception, behavioral genetics, and orientation/migration. We address several topics in behavioral ecology such as design of signals, the coevolution of predator and prey, resource optimization, sexual selection and the selfish gene. The required text is Krebs & Davies, 1993, An introduction to behavioural ecology, 3rd edition. The class will also discuss recent papers from the primary literature on the above topics.
The laboratory portion of this course (ZOOL 606L) is optional and involves independent projects that use hypothesis testing and the scientific method to study questions in animal behavior. For many, it is a great opportunity to kick-start their graduate research project.