ANB 218a 2012

Fundamentals of Animal Behavior

Fall 2012

Instructor: Jeff Schank


Office: 268D Young Hall

Phone: 752-6332

Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 10:30-11:50 and by appointment

Course description: This is the first of a two-quarter sequence. PSC/ANB 218B will be offered Winter 2012, and led by Andy Sih, Environmental Science and Policy.  The goal of this course is to sample current and traditional topics in the field of animal behavior. You will learn about the basic phenomena, concepts, and theoretical approaches of animal behavior, but no two-quarter sequence can provide the entire breadth and depth of animal behavior.


Speakers:  Monday: 6:10 PM to 8:00 PM and Friday 2:10 PM-4:00 PM

Discussion:  Friday 4:10 PM to 5:00 PM

Adjustments: Due to the nature of this course adjustments may be required for some speakers and discussion.


Lectures: 145 Young Hall (with possible exceptions)

Discussion: 145 Young Hall


40% from position papers and leading discussion (you will write 3 papers and lead or co-lead 2 discussions), 15% from review papers on 3 of the position papers (you will write 3 review papers on 3 of the discussion papers), 20% participation in discussions, 25% final exam

Course Website:

Look under the “Courses” menu.

Course details:

(1) As noted below, different topics will be the responsibility of different speakers. Each speaker has been asked to lecture on the assigned topic, and then moderate a 1-hour (when possible) with a student-led discussion on the topic.

(2) This means that you, the students, will be leading the discussions (this task will rotate among you).  Because of the number of people registered, there will often be co-discussants. Please be thinking about what topic you would prefer.

(3) Each speaker will provide readings prior to the beginning of his/her lectures. Please prepare for lectures by reading that material.

(4) Each speaker will assign the associated discussion topic at the beginning of his/her lectures.

(5) Preparation for each discussion will involve

   (a) reviewing the lecture and reading material so that
       you can lead the discussion, but everyone else is expected
       to join in (this is the main part of the 20% participant 

   (b) for a subset of you each time, you will write a 
       short position paper on the topic (no longer than 2 
       single-spaced pages)that you will circulate to all 
       parties to read exactly one week  after the topic is 
       discussed. You should look into additional reading 
       and include references for these papers.  You will send 
       it using the class email list:; and

  (c)  A subset of you, will write a short review of the 
       position paper (between 1/2 and 1 page 
       spaced pages).  The review will briefly
       discuss the the strong points of the position 
       paper and the weak points (e.g., "I think the author
       should have included more about X", or "I do not 
       think that topic X is fundamental to the topic."
       or "I think that that X is better, explained or 
       articulated as this...").  The short review will 
       be due 3 days after you receive the discussion paper.
       You will send out your review using the
       class email list:



Fundamentals of Animal Behavior (ANB/PSC218A – Schank Instructor)

Lecture times – M, 6:10-8:00 PM; F, 2:10-4:00 PM; Discussion times – F, 4:10-5:00 PM (with possible exceptions indicated in red)

1. Monday – Oct. 1 – Organize; Introduction, Jeff Schank


        (1) On the aims and methods of ethology
        (2) Complexity and Organization

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: pdf_icon  (24.8 MB)

2. Friday – Oct. 5 –  Communication, Conor Taff


        (1) Signaling
        (2) Avian psychology and communication

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio/assignments:pdf_icon   (24.5 MB)
   Friday – Oct. 5  – Discussion – Jeff Schank
        – Introduction
 Audio file:  (11.7 MB)

3. Monday – Oct. 8 – Communication,  Conor Taff

        (1) Complex signal function: developing a framework of testable hypotheses.
        (2) What do animal signals mean?
        (3) The central importance of information in studies of animal communication.
        (4) Information and Communication

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio:pdf_icon  (21.8 MB)

4. Friday – Oct. 12 – Communication,  Conor Taff

        (1) Animal Signals: Models and Terminology.
        (2) The cost of honesty and the fallacy of the handicap principle

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio:pdf_icon  (25.3 MB)
   Friday – Oct. 6 – Discussion –  Conor Taff
        – Communication
        – Dicussion Leader(s): 
        – Audio:  (11 MB)

5. Monday – Oct. 15 –  Quantitative genetics, Andy Sih

        (1) Multivariate inheritance and evolution: a review of concepts
        (2) The genetics of fish behavior
        (3) The genetics of politics: discovery, challenges, and progress
   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: power_point_icon  (25.6 MB)

6. Friday – Oct 19 –  Quantitative genetics, Andy Sih  (Start time: 3:10 PM)

 Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio:  (27.4 MB)
   Friday – Oct. 19 – Discussion – Andy Sih   
        – Quantitative genetics
        – Dicussion Leader(s):

7. Monday Oct. 22 – Genomics, Brian Trainor

        (1) Natural variations in maternal care are associated with estrogen
            receptor expression and estrogen sensitivity in the medial preoptic area.
        (2) Serotonin transporter genotype x construction stress interaction in rats.
        (3) Gene expression profiles in the brain predict
            behavior in individual honey bees.

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: pdf_icon  (22.1 MB)

8. Friday Oct. 26 – Genomics, Brian Trainor

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: pdf_icon  (28.6 MB)
   Friday – Oct. 20 – Discussion – Brian Trainor
        – Genomics
        – Discussion Leader(s):

9. Monday Oct. 29 – Behavioral endocrinology, Tom Hahn

     (1) Hormonal control and evolution of alternative male phenotypes: 
         generalizations of models of sexual differentiation
     (2) Variation in reproductive behaviour within a sex:
         neural systems and endocrine activation
   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: pdf_icon

10. Friday Nov. 2 – Behavioral endocrinology, Tom Hahn

 Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: pdf_icon  (26.2 MB)
   Friday – Nov. 2 – DiscussionTom Hahn  (13 MB)
        – Behavioral Endocrinology
        – Discussion Leader(s): Julia Cotton, Kai-Yin Lin

11. Monday Nov. 5  – Animal Welfare, YeunShin Lee

     (1) Understanding Animal Welfare. 
     (2) Behavioral development in animals undergoing domestication.
   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio:  (25.9 MB)

12. Friday Nov. 9  –  Animal Welfare, YeunShin Lee  – Special meeting time 4:15 PM to 6:00 PM (Agent-Based Modeling, Jeff Schank, will be rescheduled at a later date)

     (1) Agent-based modeling: Methods and techniques for simulating human systems
     (2) Movement patterns, social dynamics, and the evolution of cooperation
     (3) Beyond Reductionism: Refocusing on the Individual with Individual-based Modeling
Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio:  (27.1 MB)
   Friday – Nov. 9 – Discussion – Tom Hahn
        – Agent-Based Modeling
        – Discussion Leader(s): Jay Jefferson
        – Animal Welfare
        – Discussion Leader(s):

13. Wednesday Nov. 14  – Behavioral Schedules, Tom Hahn (These lecture will be moved to the following week)


   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: pdf_icon  (27.2 MB)

14. Friday Nov. 16 – Behavioral Schedules, Tom Hahn


   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio:
   Friday – Nov. 9 – Discussion – Tom Hahn
        – Behavioral Schedules
        – Discussion Leader(s): Helen Chmura

15. Monday Nov. 19 – Development of Predator-Prey Interactions – Dick Coss

         (1) Behavioural evidence for visual recognition of 
             predators by the mangrove climbing crab 
             Sesarma leptosoma
         (2) The presistence of old designs for perceptions
         (3) Antipredator Behavior in Paradise Fish(Macropodus
             opercularis) Larvae: The Role of Genetic Factors 
             and Paternal Influence
         (4) Delayed Plasticity of an Instinct:Recognition and 
             Avoidance of 2 Facing Eyes by the Jewel Fish
         (5) Predator Avoidance: Mechanisms
         (6) Context and Animal Behavior 111:The Relationship 
             Between Early Development and Evolutionary
             Persistence of Ground Squirrel Antisnake Behavior
         (7) Evolutionary persistence of memory-like processes
   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: power_point_icon  (25.2 MB)

16. Friday Nov. 23 – Thanksgiving

17. Monday Nov. 26 – Methodology – Jeff Schank

        (1) The Earth Is Round (p < .05)
        (2) Pseudoreplication and the Design of Ecological Field Experiments
        (3) Pseudoreplication is a Pseudoproblem
        (4) The Ancient Black Art and Transdisciplinary Extent of Pseudoreplication (optional)
        (5) Pseudoreplication Is (Still) a Problem (optional)
        (6) Pseudoreplication Conventions Are Testable Hypotheses (optional)
        (7) Trade-Offs in the Design of Experiments (optional)
        (8) An Ancient Black Art (optional)
        (9) Logic of experiments in ecology: is pseudoreplication a pseudoissue? (optional)
        (10) An Entomologist Guide to Demystify Pseudoreplication: 
             Data Analysis of Field Studies With Design Constraints (optional)

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: pdf_icon  (27.2 MB)
 Monday – Nov. 26 – Discussion  Methodology
     – Discussion Leader(s):
     – Methodology

18. Friday Nov. 30 – Movement and Migration – Marilyn Ramenofsky

        (1) Behavioral Endocrinology of Migration
        (3) Regulation of Migration

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: pdf_icon  (37.5 MB)
   Friday – Nov. 30 – Discussion – Movement and Migration
     – Discussion Leader(s): Helen Chmura, Myfanwy Johnston
     – Development of Predator-Prey Interactions
     – Discussion Leader(s):

19. Monday Dec. 3 – Movement and Migration – Marilyn Ramenofsky


   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: pdf_icon  (37.5 MB)

20. Friday Dec. 7 – Play –  Jeff Schank

      (1) Current perspectives on the biological study of play:
          signs of progress
      (2) Play and the evolution of fairness: a game theory model
      (3) Animal play and animal welfare (optional)
      (4) Play at work: revisiting data focusing on chimpanzees
          (Pan troglodytes) (optional)
      (5) The evolution of social play (optional)
   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio:

   Friday – Dec. 7 – Discussion – Play
        – Discussion Leader(s):

FINAL EXAM – Dec. 10, 24h take home (Tentative)