Students in the Animal Behavior Program at Bucknell have the opportunity to conduct research with professors in and out of the classroom, through group and independent research projects. Several animal colonies are housed at Bucknell. Students also have opportunities to conduct fieldwork in a variety of settings off campus.
The Bucknell facilities feature four groups of primates, social insect colonies, rats, mice, hamsters, and bats. The 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, 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 as well as in the summer and winter breaks. As students develop skills and a depth of understanding, they undertake work of greater independence, often designing their own or group experiments under the supervision of faculty. Some students complete internships or study at other laboratories or field sites in the United States and abroad. The undertaking of a senior thesis is encouraged, as this experience provides the students with experience recording and analyzing information collected during independent and original research.
Students in the program receive individual attention, with average class sizes between eight and 10 majors per year. The students work closely with the seven faculty members within the program as well as those in other departments and programs such as biology, neuroscience, and environmental science. During the past 30 years, faculty and students have jointly published more than 120 papers in scientific journals. Many more have delivered conference papers and reports.
Many program graduates have received prestigious fellowships for advanced study including the Marshall Fellowship for advanced study in the United Kingdom, Rotary International fellowships, National Science Foundation fellowships, and the Truman Fellowship.