INSTRUCTOR - Wayne Potts
office hours: Wed. 11:45—12:45 (or by appointment)
585-9677 rm 582a ASB
TA - Shannon Gaukler
office hours: Mon. 11:45 – 12:45 (or by appointment)
585-9678 rm 580 ASB
TEXTBOOK - Animal Behavior (10th Edition), John Alcock
Additional material will be handed out in class,
provided on reserve, or provided electronically on the internet.
Syllabus and additional resourses
Extra Credit Sage Grouse Adventure
Lek is active as of 3/16/14!
This course is about the evolution of behavior and in particular about the functional significance of behaviors. We will attempt to understand the ecological problems that are solved (or partially solved) by the performance of specific behaviors. We will pay attention to major underlying mechanisms such as genetic, hormonal and neuronal mechanisms, but the emphasis of the course will primarily be on functionality. A partial list of the kinds of functions we will study include: predator-prey interactions, optimal decision making, foraging, habitat selection, competition over resources (eg. territoriality), migration, navigation, communication (eg. honest vs dishonest), reproduction, sexual selection, sexual conflict, mating systems, parental care and social behaviors such as altruism and selfishness. Throughout the course we will evaluate how the study of animal behavior helps us understand human behavior. In summary, what could be more interesting than understanding why animals and humans behave as they do?