Animal Behavior (BIOS 23249 / CHDV 23249)
This course provides an introduction to the mechanism, ecology, and evolution of behavior, primarily in nonhuman species, at the individual and group level. Topics include the genetic basis of behavior, developmental pathways, communication, physiology and behavior, foraging behavior, kin selection, mating systems and sexual selection, and the ecological and social context of behavior. A major emphasis is placed on understanding and evaluating scientific studies and their field and lab techniques.
Course is offered every year in Winter, with Mateo and Pruett-Jones alternating as instructors. Mateo teaches in Winter 2011.
M, W, F 10:30-11:20, BSLC 001
Biopsychology of Sex Differences (CHDV 30901 / PSYC 31600 / EVOL 36900)
Graduate seminar. This course will explore the biological basis of mammalian sex differences and reproductive behaviors. We will consider a variety of species, including humans. We will address the physiological, hormonal, ecological and social basis of sex differences. To get the most from this course, students should have some background in biology, preferably from taking an introductory course in biology or biological psychology.
Kinship and Social Systems (CHDV 34800; also EVOL 34800)
Graduate seminar. This course will use a biological approach to understanding how groups form and how cooperation and competition modulate group size and reproductive success. We will explore social systems from evolutionary and ecological perspectives, focusing on how the biotic and social environments favor cooperation among kin as well as how these environmental features influence mating systems and inclusive fitness. While a strong background in evolutionary theory is not required, students should have basic understanding of biology.
The essence of what I hope you will get from this course is a radically different way of thinking about why animals, including humans, behave as they do. In contrast to physiological, developmental, cognitive or other 'proximate' approaches to behavior, in this course an evolutionary or functional approach will be presented. The kinds of behavior we will focus on include aggression, cooperation, kin favoritism, mating systems, parental investment and sexual selection. We will examine these behaviors in numerous animal groups, including insects, fishes, birds, mammals, primates and humans, to mention only a few.
Permission of instructor; attend the first class with a pink slip.
Behavioral Ecology (CHDV 40900; also EVOL 40900)
Graduate seminar. We will meet once per week to discuss current topics in behavioral ecology, as selected by participating students. Permission of instructor.
Darwinian Health (CHDV 21500; also GNDR 21500 and HIPS 22401)
Undergraduate seminar. This course will use an evolutionary, rather than clinical, approach to understanding why we get sick. In particular, we will consider how health issues such as menstruation, senescence, menopause and allergies can be considered adaptations rather than pathologies, and how in our rapidly changing environments these traits may no longer be beneficial.
Registration is by permission of instructor only; interested students should attend the first meeting and if your background is sufficient, I will sign your registration form.
Text: Why We Get Sick , by Nesse & Williams, plus Chalk readings
Mind - Social Sciences Core (SOSC 14100)
Mind - Social Sciences Core (SOSC 14200)
Research Seminar in Animal Behavior (EVOL 37600, 37700, 37800; also CHDV 37500, 37502, 37503)
This graduate workshop involves weekly research seminars in animal behavior given by faculty members, post-docs, and advanced graduate students from this and other institutions. The seminars are followed by discussion in which students have the opportunity to interact with the speaker, ask questions about the presentation, and share information about their own work. The purpose of this workshop is to expose graduate students to current comparative research in behavioral biology and meet some of the leading scientists in this field. Students must register for this course in the Autumn quarter and will receive credit in the Spring, at the end of the 3-quarter sequence.
Research Methods in Behavior and Development (CHDV 43248; EVOL xxxxx)
In this graduate seminar we will discuss research design, experimental methods, statistical approaches and field techniques. Other topcis will covered depending on participants interests, such as acoustic analyses, ethogram development, event recorders, spectrophotometers, marking methods, spatial analyses and grant-writing strategies. The course is primarily designed for studies of non-human animals, although studies of human behavior, especially developmental studies, will be addressed.
Mind and Biology Proseminar (CHDV 38000; also PSYC 37000)
First Monday of each month; limited to those associated with the Institute for Mind and Biology
Possible future courses
Development of Social Relationships
The goal of the seminar is to identify some of the key factors that determine the nature (e.g. cohesive, cooperative, competitive) of social relationships in a variety of organisms. We will give particular attention to factors which exert their influence in early developmental environments and that lay down a foundation for later relationships.
In this seminar we will examine and explain the development of social relationships in a Darwinian or functional perspective. Accordingly,participants should (1) be familiar with modern evolutionary theory, (2) have taken at least two classes in whole-animal behavior that emphasized social behavior, (3) have a substantial interest in behavioral ontogeny, broadly conceived, and (4) come prepared to each seminar meeting to participate actively in discussions.
Communication in humans and non-humans (Psychology 35200 / Human Development XXX)
This seminar will compare communication in humans and non-humans. Topics to be covered include the reliance of communication on more general cognitive processes, the learnability of communicative systems, referential intent, honest signaling, and deception. These issues will be explored through readings that cover recent work at the intersection of human and animal communication. Some readings will involve the use of formal models to explain communication. Previously taught with Terry Regier.
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