Facilities and Resources
Opportunities for on-campus research are provided through many courses in the animal behavior curriculum, as well as through independent research projects. The availability of animal colonies at Bucknell complements opportunities to conduct fieldwork in a variety of settings off campus. The Bucknell facilities feature several groups of primates, including hamadryas baboons, squirrel monkeys, brown capuchins, and lion-tailed macaques, as well as social insects, and both wild and laboratory rodents. Research interests of faculty members focus on the topics of ecology, evolution and development of social behavior, brain physiology, sensory systems, plant and animal interaction, ornithology, behavioral endocrinology, social and environmental regulation, marine environments, limnology, vertebrate anatomy, animal learning, genetics, and experimental design and statistics.
Students are encouraged to assist with ongoing research projects during the academic year and also during the summer months and January when time for research can be more concentrated. As students develop their skills and depth of understanding, they undertake work of greater independence, often designing their own experiments and conducting them with other students under the supervision of faculty. Some students make use of internships or study at other labs or field sites in the United States and abroad. The undertaking of a senior thesis is encouraged, as this experience provides the students with the opportunity to record and analyze information collected during research of the most independent and original variety.
Because 10 faculty work and teach within the program, and because there is an average of eight to 10 majors per class year, students work closely with faculty and with one another. Over the last 30 years, over 120 publications in scientific journals have been published by faculty and students working together. The number of conference papers and reports is far larger. Graduates have been conspicuously successful in receiving fellowships for advanced study. In the last decade, three have received the prestigious Marshall Fellowship for advanced study in the United Kingdom, three received Rotary International fellowships, nine received National Science Foundation fellowships, and one a Truman Fellowship.