Animal Behaviour

Understanding behaviour of animals from an evolutionary and ecological perspective.

In this course, we look at what we mean by behaviour, and at how animals behave from an evolutionary and ecological perspective. How do animals, including humans, communicate with their own kind, and respond to other species? How do animals decide where to live and find food, how to select mates, and avoid getting eaten? What do they do to raise their young, and live together in groups? How do animals learn and remember? 

We look at various mating systems, signals and bird song, and social insects like ants, bees and wasps, to understand a little more of each of these questions. Finally, we examine how animals respond to relevant stimuli, and what the role of neurones and hormones is in this process. 

This course includes discussions, a study of original papers in behavioural ecology, group projects for simple behavioural experiments. You will analyse and evaluate research papers and learn how to ask behaviourally relevant questions as you design experiments and collect data. 

Introduction to Biology I and II are pre-requisites for this course.