Ethology and behaviour of large marine vertebrates


5 CFU (60 hours)

Ethology (with application to Animal Welfare)

Students will be introducted to the study of animal behavior using a combination of lectures, readings, discussion, professionally produced documentary videos, and hands-on analysis (as lab segment) of both wild dolphin and captive dolphin research video data. Lectures will focus on understanding animal behavior from an ecological and evolutionary perspective as well as how the study and understanding of animal behavior can be applied to animal welfare. Readings and discussion will focus on current research and methodology. An optional one-week long field course is optional for students to develop the skills necessary to conduct animal behavior research and to demonstrate these skills by participating in independent research with senior scientists at the field location. (Note: location is one of instructors field sites.)


       Listen to and participate in content provided during lectures.

       Examine behavior and communication of animals presented on videos provided during lab segments.

       Develop research skills in techniques including photo-identification, focal animal sampling, event (behavior) sampling, and observations from video data during lab segments.

       Improve research techniques and scientific writing skills through completion of an individual research project including hypothesis construction, data collection and analysis, and written scientific report preparation.

Ethology 2


Dr. Kathleen Dudzinski

Dr. Emilio Sperone