Visiting Assistant Professor of Animal Behavior
Her main interest is in the evolutionary development of animal behavior, as well as its application to the management of domestic and wild species.
She has accomplished this research by investigating the origin of behavioral differences between the species, subspecies, and breeds of the genus Canis.
Photo by Monty Sloan
What is it like to be a bat using echolocation to hunt insects? Can we ever know? What is a mother bird thinking when feigning injury and drawing a predator's attention away from her young? Does she know what she is doing? Cognitive ethology is the attempt to join the biological study of how animals survive in their natural habitat and the psychological study of the animal mind. In this course we will examine the history and controversy of this field and take a critical look at some of the research that has come out of this synthesis. Students will be expected to read, discuss and critique primary and popular literature. Evaluations will be based on class participation, regular short written responses to the readings, and two major writing assignments.
This class will cover research methods for observing, coding, and analyzing animal behavior. Students will carry out several small group projects throughout the semester on both wild and domestic animals. Each project will provide students with the opportunity to practice different types of behavior sampling and recording techniques. We will examine how to summarize, analyze, and present data. Papers and or presentations will be due for each project. Students will be required to learn graphical and basic statistical techniques for presenting data. The semester will culminate in students completing and presenting independent group projects based on the techniques used throughout the semester.
This course is aimed at students beginning or mid-way through Division II, concentrating in animal behavior. It will provide students with hands-on experience in focused research collaboration with faculty. Students will be involved in designing an original study on the development of Canid behavior. They will collect and analyze data, and present their findings. Students will also be expected to read and discuss primary background literature on the development of behavior, Canid behavior, and other associated topics. Students will learn about research design, animal behavior methodology, behavioral development and how to communicate their findings.