Topics in Behavioural Ecology
This course will be based on the analysis, mainly through readings, scientific literature review and oral presentations of findings by the student, of the relationship between the behaviour of animals and their interaction with their environment. Possible topics include behavioural thermoregulation, optimal foraging behaviour, time and energy budgets, effects of body size on the behaviour of homeotherms, and environmental factors such as ambient temperature and microclimate, plant cover, predator-prey relationships, conspecifics and mates. The study of these relationships will emphasize across-taxa examinaton of behavioural solutions as well as behavioural compromises in response to specific environmental regimes. Where appropriate, emphasis will be placed on mathematical or descriptive modelling, the degree of generalization among taxa, and the quantification of relationships as a predictive tool in ethology. Three hours of tutorials/seminars per week, three credits.