Biology 359, Behavioral Ecology, Spring 2002 -- SYLLABUS


Place and Time: Javitz 103; MWF, 9:30-10:20 -- Office hours: TBA

Instructor: Charles Janson, 672 Life Sciences, 2-8584, janson@life.bio.sunysb.edu

T.A.: Sarah Karpanty, 623 Life Sciences, karpansm@life2.bio.sunysb.edu

Text: Alcock, J. 2001. Animal Behavior, 7th Ed. Sinauer Publ., plus reserve readings
 
Date
Topic
Readings
1/23 Introduction; proximate vs. ultimate questions Ch. 1
1/25 Methods of studying behavior; levels of Explanation Ch. 1
1/28 Avian song: Proximate causation I: genes, structures, and development  Ch. 2
1/30 Avian song: Proximate causation II: genes, structures, and development Ch. 2
2/1 Avian song: Ultimate causes: selective advantages to distinctness Ch. 2
2/4 Avian song: Ultimate causes: History I: aptations, adaptations, exaptations Ch. 2
2/6 Avian song: Ultimate causes: History II: reconstructing the past Ch. 2
2/8 Heredity and Behavior Ch. 3
2/11 Development I  Ch. 4
2/13 Development II Ch. 4
2/15 Neural Mechanisms Ch. 5
2/18 Neural Mechanisms  Ch. 5
2/20 Tissue-level mechanisms: neural centers and hormones Ch. 6
2/22 Tissue-level mechanisms: neural centers and hormones Ch. 6
2/25 Exam I -- proximate causes of behavior
2/27 Avoiding predators I: mechanisms Ch. 7
3/1 Avoiding predators I: mechanisms Ch. 7
3/4 Avoiding predators II: consequences for life histories reserve
3/6 Foraging theory I Ch. 8
3/8 Foraging theory II Ch. 8
3/11 Foraging theory III Ch. 8
3/13 Habitat selection I: cost-benefit approach Ch. 9
3/15 Habitat selection II: game theory Ch. 9
3/18 Communication: evolution of signal form; sensory exploitation Ch. 10
3/20 Communication: coevolution with receivers Ch. 10
3/22 Exam 2 -- behaviors that confront ecological challenges
3/25 Spring Recess - No class
3/27 Spring Recess - No class
3/29 Spring Recess - No class
4/1 Evolution of sex I: why sex? which gender? sex allocation  Ch. 11
4/3 Evolution of sex I: intrasexual selection Ch. 11
4/5 Evolution of sex II: inter-sexual selection Ch. 11
4/8 Evolution of mating systems I: monogamy and polyandry Ch. 12
4/10 Evolution of mating systems II: polygyny Ch. 12
4/12 Parental care I: who gives? why? how much? Ch. 13
4/15 Parental care II: how much to give? Ch. 13
4/17 Parental care III: to whom? conflicts among offspring Ch. 13 
4/19 Social living I: benefits Janson 1992
4/22 Social living I: costs Janson 1992
4/24 Social living II: altruism Ch. 14
4/26 Social living II: genetic conflicts of interest Ch. 14
4/29 Social living III: social relationships. Dominance van Schaik 1989
5/1 Social living III: social relationships. Coalitions  van Schaik 1989
5/3 Human behavior: evolutionary psychology  Ch. 15
5/6 Human behavior: cultural evolution and its consequences Ch. 15
5/13 Final Exam, 8:00-10:30am.

Grading: Exam questions will be mixtures of short essays, short answers and multiple choice. Each mid-term exam is worth 30% of the total grade; the final is 40%; exams are cumulative. If you have a physical, psychiatric/emotional, medical or learning disability that may impact on your ability to carry out assigned course work, I would urge that you contact the staff in the Disabled Student Services office, Room 113 Humanities, 632-6748/TDD. DSS will review your concerns and determine, with you, what accommodations are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation of disability is confidential.