Week 14.

Nov 29th

Finish Game Theory


Dec 1st

As a student I never found the history of biology to be particularly interesting. For some reason, as a professor, I love the topic. I'm not sure what has changed. I think maybe it was because the history was always taught first before I even knew whether I liked that particular subject. Now, at week 14, I'm hoping that the topic of Animal Behavior holds sufficient interest to begin to be curious about the history of the field and some of the researchers who first established it. Dugatikin must have agreed with me as he left out most of the history of animal behavior but we will read the introductory chapter from a different text.

First we will address the modern definition of Animal Behavior.
All students should have already completed the online survey
that was modeled after
Levitis, D.A., Lidicker, W.Z., andFreund, G. 2009 Behavioural biologists do not agree on what constitutes behaviour. Animal Behaviour 78:103-110.
Consider how your answers to the survey align with the published findings
(we'll discuss class patterns during lecture)

for historical summary see:
Drickamer, Vessey, and Jakob Animal Behavior: mechaims, ecology, evolution. Mc Graw Hill pub.
and also:
Marler 2004 The instinct to learn.
Marler 2005 Ethology and the origins of behavioral endocrinology
This provides a historical contextand introduces researchers who were involved in a long standing debate regarding innate vs. learned behavior.



Dec. 3rd

Animal Personalities

dugatkinCall it "personality", call it "behavioral syndrome", it is the quality of individual variation with regard to behavior. But more than simply variation, these terms describe an complex behavioral phenotype that transcends specific behaviors.

Why is the phenomenon of animal personality one of the most intriguing challenges to the "adaptationist programme"? In what way is it counter intuitive that variation should be selected for? What is the evidence for and against the adaptive value of animal personalities (i.e. behavioral syndromes).

Sih, A., Bell, A., Johnson, J.C. (2004) Behavioral syndromess: an ecological and evolutionary overview. TREE 19:372-378.

Chapter 17

The topic of animal personality generate a lot of discussion among researchers today. In part I think this is because of the use of the work "personality". What do you think of using this term to describe animal behaviors?

Sih et al., 2004 generated some debate:

Neff, B.D., Sherman, P.W. (2004) Behavioral syndromes versus darwinian algorithms. TREE 19:621-622. .
Sih, A., Bell, A., Johnson, J.C. (2004) Reply to Neff and Sherman. Behavioral syndromes versus darwinian algorithms TREE 19:622-623.
Bell (2007) Animal Personalities. Nature 447:539:540.

Wolf, M., van Doorn, G.S., Leimar, O. & Weissing F.J. (2007) Life-history trade-offs favour the evolution of animal personalities. Nature 447:581:585.
as you read this one try to list the constraints, assumptions and parameters that were used for the simple asexual model (figures 1-3) and pay attention to how the model was changed in order to incorporate of quantitative genetics?