BHE-30306 Behavioural Ecology

Course

Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper2
Lecture20
Tutorial12
Practical47
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)dr. CA Hinde
Lecturer(s)dr. CA Hinde
prof. dr. M Dicke
prof. dr. M Naguib
dr. CHJ van Oers
Examiner(s)prof. dr. M Dicke
prof. dr. M Naguib

Language of instruction:

English

Assumed knowledge on:

BHE20303 Animal Behaviour

Continuation courses:

BHE-20303 Animal Behaviour

Contents:

The course Behavioural Ecology provides insight in how evolution through natural selection shapes behaviour of animals (domestic or wild, vertebrate or invertebrate). The course includes acquiring theoretical knowledge, searching scientific information, critical reading of literature, observation and presentation of results. The acquired knowledge is directly applied in a short research project on captive or wild animals - depending on the opportunities; these can be either invertebrates or vertebrates.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- use evolutionary concepts to explain animal behaviour;
- define and apply the four questions of Tinbergen in behavioural issues;
- apply the basic behavioural and ecological skills of observation and (statistical) data analysis;
- plan and finalize a small behavioural ecological research project;
- to present the results of a research project in a report.

Activities:

The course is a full-time block course of 4 weeks. The first week is centred on theoretical issues. For lectures the book 'An introduction to behavioural ecology' by Davies et al. is used. In the lectures the theoretical background of the relation between animal behaviour and natural selection is given. During the whole four week period students work in teams of two or three on a mini-research project. In the first week, students can select a topic for this project. You will develop a research question and integrate it with theory you got acquainted with in week 1 and finalise your working plan using scientific information from the scientific literature (literature study). Through discussions with the supervisor(s) your research plan will be finalized in week 1, and your work plan and literature study will be presented to your fellow students. Experiments will be executed subsequently, and you will learn to analyse your data report is made and the results are presented.

Examination:

Evaluation will be based on a written examination and report.

Literature:

N.B. Davies, J.R Krebs, S.A. Wests (2012). An Introduction to Behavioural Ecology 4th Edition.

ProgrammePhaseSpecializationPeriod
Compulsory for: MBIBiologyMScA: Animal Adaptation and Behavioural Biology6WD
Restricted Optional for: MASAnimal SciencesMScD: Animal Health and Behaviour6WD
MinorPeriod
Restricted Optional for: WUEBCBSc Minor Ecology and Biological Control of Insects6WD