Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
This course investigates different types of behavior, such as foraging, predator avoidance, mate choice, parental care, and many forms of social behavior. We introduce and assess hypotheses about the ecological pressures affecting how behavior evolves. Because the study of behavior integrates ideas and approaches from ecology, genetics, physiology, and psychology, we will make occasional forays into those fields. Understanding what animals do and why requires one to understand underlying processes rather than simply learning facts. Thus this course emphasizes critical thinking and the scientific process. Students will be encouraged to think carefully, logically, and critically about ideas and to ask questions and defend their views. We will mix results from studies, audio, and several types of visual media to learn about really cool things animals do.
Dec. 11th: Does morality have a biological basis?
I will periodically (about 1 per week) post sample exam questions here on the web site. Later on I will post a key. These exercises are good practice for the exams and should help you understand the material. I strongly encourage you to attempt them as I post them.