This course will investigate both evolutionary and proximate aspects of animal behavior. Using the logical framework of the four levels of analysis, we will cover: 1) the adaptive value of specific behaviors and the role of natural selection in maintaining behaviors; 2) how behaviors have evolved over time; 3) how behaviors develop within an individual; and 4)the neural, hormonal, and physiological mechanisms underlying behaviors. Lectures will cover a variety of topics, including: natural selection and evolution; genes and the environment; animal learning and cognition; hormones and their role in mediating behavior; neural mechanisms; foraging behavior; predator-prey interactions; sexual selection; animal communication; courtship and mate choice; and social behavior. In addition to lectures, we will develop skills to understand and interpret primary literature, which will be facilitated through group-discussions of journal articles. The laboratory will focus on developing skills of hypo-deductive inquiry, and on the design, implementation, and analysis of experiments that will be carried out in the laboratory and field. As part of the laboratory, students will develop a sophisticated and in-depth review of the literature focusing on a specific topic of animal behavior, culminating in a final paper and a presentation to the class. Prerequisite: BIOL 3413, CHEM 2319, 2119
4 credits
Upper Division
Pathways Curriculum
The Core Capacities, The Interdisciplinary Clusters