Week 9 - the End!

Independent Projects for Animal Behavior


General Expectations

Students are expected to work in pairs (or teams of 3) in order to design a project that will test an interesting hypothesis in one of the areas of animal behavior that we have covered in class.

Before Fall Break students are expected to have identified their partners and decided on a topic. These decisions will be comunicated in the form of a "Statement of Work". This document is a part of the "Project Management" concept that will be used to organize the next several weeks of your research. The concept of projet management is designed to reduce wasted work effort, track progress, and aid in rapid response when deviations are necessary. It is an essential component of efficient research science (though often not explicity orchestrated).

Every student is expected to keep their own lab notebook and not relie on the notebook of a labmate.
Lab notebooks will be evaluated!

General Expectations for Lab Notebooks (.pdf handout)


Oct 15&16 - Project Planning
Each pair of students will meet with the instructor during lab and will hand in the ~ 2 page "Project Management Plan"
use the following template in word
see the following example from my summer research students:

Oct 29&30 - Project Organizing
Each pair of students will meet with the instructor during lab and will hand in a Timeline.
Two templates are available, though students may use their own format.
Power Point Template to use for "gantt" chart
Excel Template for Gantt chart

Nov 20 - Project Review and Revise
see the assignment handout
Before Leaving for Thanksgiving all student pairs should meet with the instructor or a TA. At this time they will hand in an updated timeline and Project Management Plan.

Dec 9 - Abstracts
An abstract (~250 word) with a descriptive (fun) title and the authors names.
Please email these directly to Suzy Renn

Dec 5 - Poster Presentation
Tips for making and Presenting a Poster template1, template2,

Dec 5 - Assessment
see full assignment handout for self assessment questions or printout worksheet.
email to me anytime before or after the poster session.
Each student will assess 2 posters/presentations with a form that will be provided at the poster session.
hand these in at the end of the poster session.

Equipment available includes:

temperature controlled incubators
audio recording equipment
video recording equipment
spotting scope
laptop computers for Jwatcher studies
general molecular biology equipment
anything used during course work

Arrangements can be made for repeated access to the zoo

Laptops are available for Jwatcher in the field.

Appropriate animals include:

Any wild animals easily acccessible for field observations.
Any animals used during previous labs are available.
Any Drosophila mutant or strain availble at the Bloomington Stock Center (needs 3-4 weeks advance notice)
House crickets (let us know early, they are often not mature when ordered)
Goldfish, Zebrafish,
Tanganyikan cichlids available in the Renn Lab (Astatotilapia burtioni)
Wild caught sticklebacks from the canyon.
Possibly Juvenile snakes if you let me know ahead of time.


Poster Presentation and Participation at Poster Session
Project Management documentation.
Lab Notebooks (one per group is sufficient, though individuals must note their own contributions clearly)