Coordinating Committee: Morgan Benowitz-Fredericks, Elizabeth C. Evans, Peter G. Judge (Director), Kevin P. Myers, DeeAnn M. Reeder, Jennifer R. Stevenson

The program in animal behavior offers an interdisciplinary major that includes subject matter in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and psychology. The focus is directed toward understanding behavior and providing the student with a background uniting ecological, ethological, environmental, evolutionary, experimental, and physiological approaches to the study of animal life.

During the more than 40 years that Bucknell University has offered this major, animal behavior has been chosen by students seeking a broad background in the natural and social sciences, by those who become researchers, as a background for medical or veterinary science and, because of the breadth of requirements, by persons filling a variety of positions in commerce, law, and public service.

The major may be pursued under either the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science programs. The programs differ chiefly in the number of advanced science courses and laboratories. All students are encouraged to seek laboratory and field experiences in addition to required course work. The Bucknell laboratories, as well as opportunities abroad, are well suited to so complement the student's education. Research culminating in an honors thesis is especially recommended.

Animal behavior majors will fulfill the Culminating Experience requirement by taking ANBE 320: Advanced Topics in Animal Behavior in their senior year. The course will be open only to senior animal behavior majors and will be designed to explore diverse areas and concepts in animal behavior particularly relevant to a student graduating with a degree in animal behavior. The course will encourage majors to reflect retrospectively on what they have learned over the years and to look to the future for current movements within the field.

Information literacy, formal presentation, and writing goals within the major will be fulfilled when students take ANBE/PSYC 296: Applied Research Methods in Animal Behavior and ANBE 320. In ANBE/PSYC 296, students conduct experimental research, present their work to the class in a conference-style session and write up their research as a journal-style publication. In so doing, they search the literature to find sources that provide a theoretical basis for their study, develop the hypotheses tested, and instruct the design of their study. In ANBE 320, students will develop more theoretical and conceptual writing skills by conducting literature searches on topics in animal behavior and synthesizing the material into a review-style paper. Students will present the results of their literature reviews to class and lead class discussions on selected topics, also enhancing their presentation skills. Although information literacy, formal presentation, and writing goals within the major will be specifically addressed in ANBE/PSYC 296 and ANBE 320, majors will receive similar training in these skills in many other courses they take as electives and requirements within the major.

The Bachelor of Arts major consists of the following 13 required courses.

  • Animal Behavior core course: ANBE/BIOL/PSYC 266
  • Applied Research Methods in Animal Behavior: ANBE/PSYC 296
  • Biology core courses: Any three courses from the biology core series BIOL 205, BIOL 206, BIOL 207, or BIOL 208. BIOL 205 and 208 are strongly recommended. Students should consult with an academic adviser in animal behavior to determine the most appropriate biology course selections given their academic goals.
  • Psychology core requirements: PSYC 203 and PSYC 250
  • Statistics requirement: PSYC 215 or MATH 216
  • Chemistry requirement: CHEM 211 and CHEM 212 or CHEM 201 and 202
  • Upper-level animal behavior electives: Two courses from the list below. Cross-listed courses are indicated. With special permission, other upper-level PSYC/BIOL courses can be considered as electives.

    ANBE/PSYC 317: Comparative Animal Cognition
    ANBE 319: Topics in Animal Behavior
    ANBE/BIOL 321: Behavioral Ecology
    ANBE/BIOL 341: Organic Evolution
    ANBE/BIOL 342: Neuroethology
    ANBE/BIOL 354: Tropical Ecology
    ANBE/BIOL 355: Social Insects
    ANBE/BIOL 356: Plant-Animal Interactions
    ANBE/BIOL 357: Ornithology
    ANBE/BIOL/PSYC 370: Primate Behavior and Ecology
    ANBE/PSYC371: Primate Cognition
    BIOL 303: Behavioral Neuroendocrinology
    BIOL 312: Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
    BIOL 313: Mammalogy
    BIOL 318: Principles of Physiology
    BIOL 324: Neurophysiology
    BIOL 328: Endocrinology
    BIOL/PSYC 343: Neural Plasticity
    BIOL 353: Ecosystem Ecology
    BIOL 358: Invertebrate Zoology
    BIOL 359: General Entomology
    BIOL 361: Systematic Biology
    PSYC 324: Advanced Psychological Statistics
  • Culminating Experience requirement: ANBE 320: Advanced Topics in Animal Behavior

The Bachelor of Science major consists of the same course credits noted above plus the following six courses:

  • The fourth course from the biology core series: BIOL 205, BIOL 206, BIOL 207, or BIOL 208
  • A second Applied Research Methods course: PSYC 290 or PSYC 293
  • Calculus: MATH 201
  • Physics requirement: PHYS 211 and PHYS 212
  • A third upper-level animal behavior elective.

The recommended sequence for the Bachelor of Science major is as follows:

First Year
First Semester: ANBE 266, BIOL 205, MATH 201
Second Semester: BIOL 206, PSYC 215/MATH 216

Sophomore Year
First Semester: BIOL 207, PSYC 203 or PSYC 250, CHEM 211 or CHEM 201
Second Semester: BIOL 208, PSYC 203 or PSYC 250, CHEM 212 or CHEM 202

Junior Year
First Semester: First research methods course (PSYC 296; PSYC 290 or PSYC 293), one animal behavior elective; PHYS 211
Second Semester: Second research methods course (PSYC 296; PSYC 290, or PSYC 293), one animal behavior elective, PHYS 212

Senior Year
First Semester: Animal behavior elective or ANBE 320 Culminating Experience in Animal Behavior
Second Semester: Animal behavior elective or ANBE 320 Culminating Experience in Animal Behavior

All students are advised to take the biology core courses in sequence, starting with BIOL 205. BIOL 208 serves as the prerequisite for most of the elective courses. A student's choice of the chemistry sequence (either CHEM 201-202 or CHEM 211-212) should be made in consultation with the student's academic adviser. Note that for both programs one semester of independent research (ANBE 391) or honors credit (ANBE 399) may count toward the upper-level electives.

Off-campus study and research is encouraged. Recent students have studied in Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Other programs in Europe, Asia, South and Central America are also appropriate. Students are advised to explore opportunities through the Office of International Education and to coordinate off-campus coursework in consultation with a faculty adviser. Many minors complement studies in animal behavior and students are encouraged to explore options within the humanities and social sciences in consultation with a faculty adviser.

Asterisks (*) in the list below indicate courses in which experimentation with living animals may be involved in the course or laboratory.

 

266. 

Animal Behavior (I; 3, 0)

A survey of important theories, issues, and empirical techniques in the interdisciplinary field of animal behavior emphasizing both proximate and ultimate mechanisms as explanations for behavior. Crosslisted as BIOL 266 and PSYC 266.

296. 

Applied Research Methods Seminar in Animal Behavior (I or II; 0, 3*)

Laboratory and/or field research to accompany ANBE/BIOL/PSYC 266 (Animal Behavior). Prerequisite: PSYC 215 and prerequisite or corequisite ANBE/BIOL/PSYC 266. Crosslisted as PSYC 296.

317. 

Comparative Animal Cognition (I or II; 3, 0)

Advanced seminar in issues of nature/nurture, learning, development, and adaptation, in behaviors such as foraging, mating and communication in several species. Prerequisites: ANBE/BIOL/PSYC 266 and PSYC 203 or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as PSYC 317.

319. 

Topics in Animal Behavior (I and II; R; 3, 0) Half to full course.

Occasional seminars on selected topics of current interest in animal behavior. Prerequisites: ANBE/BIOL/PSYC 266, junior or senior status and permission of the instructor.

320. 

Advanced Topics in Animal Behavior (I and II; R; 3, 0) Half to full course.

Culminating Experience seminar for senior animal behavior majors covering selected topics of current interest in animal behavior. Prerequisites: senior animal behavior major status.

321. 

Behavioral Ecology (I; 3, 0)

The consideration of behavioral adaptations to various ecological situations. Topics include habitat choice, foraging behavior, defenses against predation, mate choice, and brood care. Prerequisites: BIOL 208 and permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as BIOL 321.

341. 

Organic Evolution (AII; 3, 3)

The principles and mechanisms of evolution in plants and animals, covering population phenomena, speciation, life history strategies, adaptation, systematics, and biogeography. Prerequisites: BIOL 208 and permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as BIOL 341.

342. 

Neuroethology (I or II; 3, 0)

A course that integrates neurobiology and behavior in natural contexts. Emphasis on signal detection, recognition, discrimination, localization, orientation, and the control of complex acts. Neuronal and hormonal mechanisms, ontogeny and evolution of behavior will be considered. Prerequisites: BIOL 206, BIOL 208 and permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as BIOL 342.

354. 

Tropical Ecology (II; 3, 0)

Introduction to tropical ecology, including life history strategies of vertebrates and invertebrates, biodiversity management and conservation. Emphasis on class and individual projects, data collection, and journal keeping. Prerequisites: BIOL 208 and permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as BIOL 354.

355. 

Social Insects (I; 3, 3*)

Evolution and genetics of social behavior, caste, communication in foraging and colony defense, queen and worker control over reproduction, social homeostasis, and population dynamics. Occasionally may be taught as a laboratory science. Prerequisites: BIOL 208 and permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as BIOL 355. Juniors and seniors only.

370. 

Primate Behavior and Ecology (I; 3, 3*)

Introduction to research on prosimians, monkeys, and apes including diversity, social evolution, sexual selection, reproduction, social behavior, and cognitive abilities. Prerequisites: BIOL 122, or BIOL 208, or ANBE/BIOL/ PSYC 266 and permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as BIOL/PSYC 370.

371. 

Primate Cognition (AI or AII; 3, 0*)

An investigation into the cognitive abilities and capacities of nonhuman primates emphasizing a comparative perspective. Prerequisites: ANBE 266 or BIOL 266 or PSYC 266 and permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as PSYC 371.

391. 

Research (I, II, and S; R; 1-3*) Half to full course.

Independent research, with faculty supervision, in the study of animal behavior. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

399. 

Senior Thesis (I, II, and S; R; 2, 10*)

Original research leading to a thesis presentation on a topic related to the study of animal behavior. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Seniors only.

Courses offered occasionally

356 Plant Animal Interactions, 357 Ornithology

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