Biology Online Module Handbook

BL3319 Animal Behaviour A Quantitative Approach

(BL3319 online module handbook version 48)

cover image

image: southern giraffe (Giraffa giraffa) and red-billed oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus)

This module is designed to provide a broad and multifaceted perspective on animal behaviour, emphasising contemporary theoretical, mathematical and statistical approaches to the discipline. Nobel-Prize-winning ethologist, Niko Tinbergen, pointed out that to understand behaviour fully researchers had to answer four types of questions, about its causation, function, development and evolution. All four areas are covered in the course, which includes lectures on the genetic, neural, physiological and experiential (i.e. learning) influences on behaviour; behavioural development; foraging; sexual behaviour, sexual selection and mate choice; communication, cooperation and culture. The course contains extensive material of a formal theoretical nature, and emphasises quantitative skills throughout. Students will be introduced to new mathematical and statistical approaches within the field.*

Credits: 20*

Semester: 2

Module Organiser
Dr Mike Webster
mmw1@st-andrews.ac.uk
01334 461690
Pre-requisite Modules:
Before taking this module you must pass BL2303 or pass BL2307 or pass BL2310*
Anti-requisite Modules:
*
Post-requisite Modules:
*
Additional Module Information:
Please check MMS regularly for additional module information


Biology Teaching Office:
The Biology Hive, New Technology Centre, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9SR

Email: bioteach@st-andrews.ac.uk      Tel: 01334  463602

BL3319: Timetable

No details are currently available for BL3319 Timetable

Data Sources: information in this online module handbook is gathered from several sources.
Small footnote marks beside content, or by section titles indicate the source.
* University of St Andrews Module Catalogue
School of Biology Symbiosis Database (module organisers only)
University of St Andrews MMS (St Andrews users only)

BL3319: Assessment

3-hour Written Examination = 66%, Coursework = 34%*

(MMS assessment data cached: 23 September 2018 22:20:09.)


The following related information applies to all Biology modules:

School of Biology Marking Criteria: See School of Biology Undergraduate Handbook
Late submission of continuous assessment work:

All late submissions of coursework that do not require electronic submission should be made via the late submissions box in the Biomolecular Science Building (beside the Teaching Office)
Exam details: See School of Biology Undergraduate Handbook
Exam timetable: see http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/students/academic/examinations/examtimetablescurrent/
Expected attendance: See School of Biology Undergraduate Handbook for detailed attendance requirements.
Good Academic Practice & Avoiding Academic Misconduct: See School of Biology Undergraduate Handbook
University Student Handbook: University Student Handbook
School and University regulations in the School and University Undergraduate Handbook relating to absence reporting, penalties and rules for late submission of work, extensions for coursework, return of coursework, S-coding, good academic practice and Academic Alerts.: School of Biology Undergraduate Handbook University Student Handbook
Data Sources: information in this online module handbook is gathered from several sources.
Small footnote marks beside content, or by section titles indicate the source.
* University of St Andrews Module Catalogue
School of Biology Symbiosis Database (module organisers only)
University of St Andrews MMS (St Andrews users only)

Who to ask

(Information in this section applies to all Biology Modules)

Questions about different aspects of the module should be directed to different people:

Questions about Contact
General teaching matters Biology Teaching Office ( bioteach@st-andrews.ac.uk )
Rescheduled or cancelled events Check your University email
Lecture or practical content The lecturer who presented the material
Completing assessed practical assignments The lecturer who set the assignment
Completing assessments Module Organiser (Dr Mike Webster mmw1@st-andrews.ac.uk)
Marking on continuous assessment The Demonstrator or Module Organiser (Dr Mike Webster mmw1@st-andrews.ac.uk)
Marking on exams Module Organiser (Dr Mike Webster mmw1@st-andrews.ac.uk)
Rearranging practical days Grant Brown
Absence and/or extensions Module Organiser (Dr Mike Webster mmw1@st-andrews.ac.uk) and the Biology Teaching Office ( bioteach@st-andrews.ac.uk )

Difficulties with academic progress which impact more than one module:

Year Coordinator

See School of Biology Undergraduate student handbook for list: http://biology.st-andrews.ac.uk/documents/UndergraduateHandbook.pdf

Overall performance, progress or future directions:

Advisor of Studies

Disability:

Disability Coordinator (Dr Jacqueline Nairn jn37@st-andrews.ac.uk)

Biology Teaching Office:

The Biology Hive, New Technology Centre, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9SR

Email: bioteach@st-andrews.ac.uk

Tel: 01334 463602

BL3319: Contributing Staff

Dr Mike Webster

Dr Mike Webster
(Module Organiser)

Lecturer in Behavioural and Evolutionary Biologymmw1@st-andrews.ac.uk
Prof Sue HealyProf Sue HealyProfessorsdh11@st-andrews.ac.uk
Dr David PritchardDr David PritchardPostdoctoral researcherdjp4@st-andrews.ac.uk
Dr Luke RendellDr Luke RendellMASTS Reader in Biologyler4@st-andrews.ac.uk
Prof Mike RitchieProf Mike RitchieProfessormgr@st-andrews.ac.uk
Dr Mike WebsterDr Mike Webster
(Module Organiser)
Lecturer in Behavioural and Evolutionary Biologymmw1@st-andrews.ac.uk
Data Sources: information in this online module handbook is gathered from several sources.
Small footnote marks beside content, or by section titles indicate the source.
* University of St Andrews Module Catalogue
School of Biology Symbiosis Database (module organisers only)
University of St Andrews MMS (St Andrews users only)

BL3319: Learning Outcomes

Students completing module BL3319 successfully should be able to:

  • Be able to summarise Tinbergen�s Four Questions about the mechanism, function, development and evolution of behaviour.
  • Be able to discus and critique the quantitative approaches that researchers have developed to study how animals deal with challenges such as learning about the environment, avoiding predators, finding and competing for food and mates and rearing young.
  • Be familiar with concepts such as game theory and foraging theory and discuss how these can be used to quantify the fitness pay-offs of different behavioural strategies.
  • Be confident in devising and carrying out your own research into animal behaviour and analysing your own data.
  • Be able to present your own research findings in written form and as a poster, and be confident in explaining your work to your peers.
Data Sources: information in this online module handbook is gathered from several sources.
Small footnote marks beside content, or by section titles indicate the source.
* University of St Andrews Module Catalogue
School of Biology Symbiosis Database (module organisers only)
University of St Andrews MMS (St Andrews users only)

BL3319: Acquired Skills

Practical Skills

    Transferable Skills

    • Preparing group poster on conducted project
    • Q+A poster session
    • Project report
    • Research proposal
    • Critically evaluating sources/information
    • Data analysis (depending on project)
    • Likelihood
    • Linear regression
    • Produce graphs/figures
    • Produce tables
    • Survival analysis
    • Use Excel
    • Use R or R Studio
    • Lab or field notebook
    • Critiquing experimental design
    • Designing experiments
    • Organising group work
    • Working in pairs/small groups
    Data Sources: information in this online module handbook is gathered from several sources.
    Small footnote marks beside content, or by section titles indicate the source.
    * University of St Andrews Module Catalogue
    School of Biology Symbiosis Database (module organisers only)
    University of St Andrews MMS (St Andrews users only)

    Policies

    (Information in this section applies to all Biology Modules)