Behavioural Ecology

Module code: BS3080

Evolutionary processes have shaped the behaviour of animals to be adaptive within the context of their natural ecology. Behavioural ecologists carry out observational and experimental research both in the field in the laboratory, and also use mathematical modelling as a tool to understand patterns and processes in behaviour. In this module you will develop an in-depth understanding of how animal behaviour has evolved, and how the various pressures imposed by selective forces in natural ecosystems have shaped the behaviour of animals. 

The module includes a 7-day residential field course based at Slapton Ley Field Studies Centre in Devon. During this field course you will be taught how to undertake behavioural research on wild animals in their natural habitats, and will be given the opportunity to design and undertake your own research project examining the adaptive function of behaviour on a species of your choice. Prior to the field course you will receive a series of lectures that will allow you to develop a detailed understanding of the modern study of behavioural ecology. 

Learning

  • 15 hours of lectures
  • 4 hours of seminars
  • 4 hours of tutorials
  • 4 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 60 hours of fieldwork
  • 63 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Field journal (60%)
  • Research seminar (40%)