Animal Behavior Department Summer Research
Of more than 250 persons receiving the B.A. or B.S. in animal behavior since 1968, approximately one-fifth continued their study in professional schools (medical, dental, veterinary), a third conducted advanced work in an academic field (biology, psychology, zoology, ecology), one fifth went into research, zoo, museum, or foundation work, and the remainder have undertaken a variety of productive careers, including communications, law, industry, foreign service, and the ministry.
The availability of animal colonies at Bucknell complements field work conducted in a variety of settings off campus. The Bucknell facilities feature long-standing troops of primates, including Hamadryas baboons from the Old World, squirrel monkeys from the New World, and both ringtailed and redfronted lemurs from Madagascar; eucosical insects, pigeons, and both wild and laboratory rodents. Research interests of faculty-student cooperative groups 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 ongoing research programs by developing their understanding and skills during the academic year and also during the summer months and January when time for research can be concentrated. As students progress with 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 analyze and synthesize 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 25 years, 113 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, eight received National Science Foundation fellowships, and one a Truman Fellowship.
Departmental Research Programs: