Biology Online Module Handbook

BL4263 The Question of Culture in Cetaceans

(BL4263 online module handbook version 16)

cover image
The existence and extent of social learning and cultural transmission in non-humans is a very active area of current research, as well as of controversy, with an active ongoing debate. The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to this area through considering the conceptual issues and direct and indirect evidence for cultural transmission in cetaceans, the whales and dolphins. We will consider what is meant by the term 'culture', how it can be studied in non-humans, and the evidence for and against such processes being present in cetacean societies.*

Credits: 15*

Semester: 2

Module Organiser
Dr Luke Rendell
ler4@st-andrews.ac.uk
01334 463499
Pre-requisite Modules:
Before taking this module you must pass BL3319*
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

BL4263: Timetable

Legend (not all modules have every event type):
lecture
tutorial
workshop
practical
other

Semester 2: Week 1

DATE & TIMEVENUESTAFFEVENT
Wednesday
30-01-2019
15:00 to 17:00
Dyers Brae
DB seminar room
Dr Luke Rendell
Dr Ellen Garland
Lecture L1: Session 1: Introduction - What is culture?
2018-9_BL4263_L1
Introduction to the course. Definitions and concepts of culture from anthropology, psychology and biology. Social learning. Cultural evolution. Studying culture in humans and non-humans. The key attributes of human culture. The animal culture debate. Rea
Thursday
31-01-2019
15:00 to 17:00
Dyers Brae
DB seminar room
Dr Ellen Garland

Lecture L2: Session 2: Baleen whales
2018-9_BL4263_L2
Social structure of baleen whales. Humpback whales song and song in other baleen whales. Non-vocal candidate cultural behaviours in baleen whales. Reading: Chapter 4, available on MMS

Semester 2: Week 2

DATE & TIMEVENUESTAFFEVENT
Tuesday
05-02-2019
15:00 to 17:00
Dyers Brae
DB seminar room
Dr Luke Rendell

Lecture L3: Session 3: Delphinids
2018-9_BL4263_L3
Dolphin societies. Foraging specialisations in bottlenose dolphins €" cooperative foraging, sponging. Human-dolphin fishing cooperatives. Implications of foraging specialisations. Communication and play. Reading: Draft Chapter 5, available on MMS
Wednesday
06-02-2019
15:00 to 17:00
Dyers Brae
DB seminar room
Dr Luke Rendell

Lecture L4: Session 4: Matrilineal toothed whales
2018-9_BL4263_L4
Matrilineal social systems of toothed whales. Evidence of culture in killer whales and sperm whales €" vocal dialects, foraging specialisations. Other toothed whales €" pilot whales, belugas. Reading: Chapter 6, available on MMS
Thursday
07-02-2019
15:00 to 17:00
Dyers Brae
DB seminar room
Dr Luke Rendell

Lecture L5: Session 5: Evidence for social learning
2018-9_BL4263_L5
Experimental studies of imitation in dolphins and killer whales. Direct evidence for vocal learning. Teaching in toothed whales? Reading: Chapter 7, available on MMS

Semester 2: Week 3

DATE & TIMEVENUESTAFFEVENT
Monday
11-02-2019
15:00 to 17:00
Dyers Brae
DB seminar room 2
Dr Luke Rendell

Lecture L6: Session 6: The question of culture
2018-9_BL4263_L6
Critiques of claims for culture in cetaceans from experimental psychology and anthropology. Captive whales. Ethnic markers and the meaning of identity. Does it make sense to use the word €˜culture €™. Reading: Chapters 8 and 9, available on MMS
Tuesday
12-02-2019
15:00 to 17:00
Dyers Brae
DB seminar room
Dr Luke Rendell

Lecture L7: Session 7: Cetacean culture in comparative context: Chimps, bats, birds and rats
2018-9_BL4263_L7
Evidence for culture in other non-humans €" fish, rats, birds, bats, elephants and nonhuman primates. Key elements of human culture revisited. Are there ethical implications? Reading: Chapter 12, available on MMS

Semester 2: Week 4

DATE & TIMEVENUESTAFFEVENT
Tuesday
19-02-2019
10:00 to 12:00
Dyers Brae
DB seminar room
Dr Luke Rendell
Dr Ellen Garland
Tutorial T1: Session 8 - Journal Club I
2018-9_BL4263_T1
We will discuss papers 1 & 2 and the writing of critical reviews
Friday
22-02-2019
10:00 to 12:00
Dyers Brae
DB seminar room
Dr Luke Rendell
Dr Ellen Garland
Tutorial T2: Session 9 - Journal Club II
2018-9_BL4263_T2
We will discuss papers 3 & 4 and the writing of critical reviews

Reading Week: 16-Mar-2019 to 31-Mar-2019

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)

BL4263: Assessment

1.5-hour Written Examination = 40%, Coursework = 60%*

Assessment:
Critical paper review
Due by:
01/04/2019 09:00
Feedback due by:
22/04/2019 09:00
Type:
Turnitin
Weight:
50%

(MMS assessment data cached: 15 February 2019 23:20:13.)


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 Luke Rendell ler4@st-andrews.ac.uk)
Marking on continuous assessment The Demonstrator or Module Organiser (Dr Luke Rendell ler4@st-andrews.ac.uk)
Marking on exams Module Organiser (Dr Luke Rendell ler4@st-andrews.ac.uk)
Rearranging practical days Grant Brown
Absence and/or extensions Module Organiser (Dr Luke Rendell ler4@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)

For advice and support on any issue e.g. academic, financial, international, personal or health matters, or if you are unsure of who to go to for help:

Advice & Support Centre

Address: 79 North Street, St Andrews

Email: theasc@st-andrews.ac.uk

Web: https://www.standrews.ac.uk/ask-a-question/

Tel: 01334 462020

University assistance with urgent matters out of office hours:

Tel: 01334 476161

Web: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/students/advice/counselling/incrisis/

Biology Teaching Office:

We are happy to hear from you about teaching matters. The School of Biology Teaching Office is open Monday to Friday 09.00 - 13.00 and 14.00 - 17.00. School of Biology staff will respond to your emails during these hours. Our team will provide a response to you within three working days.

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 463602/3566

BL4263: Contributing Staff

Dr Luke Rendell

Dr Luke Rendell
(Module Organiser)

MASTS Reader in Biologyler4@st-andrews.ac.uk
Dr Ellen GarlandDr Ellen GarlandRoyal Society University Research Fellowecg5@st-andrews.ac.uk
Dr Luke RendellDr Luke Rendell
(Module Organiser)
MASTS Reader in Biologyler4@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)

BL4263: Learning Outcomes

Students completing module BL4263 successfully should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge about the study of behavior generally and in cetaceans in particular.
  • demonstrate familiarity with the interdisciplinary debate about the evolution of culture.
  • read and assess primary literature critically.
  • constructively discuss areas of scientific controversy.
  • write critical evaluations of scientific work.
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)

BL4263: Acquired Skills

Practical Skills

    Transferable Skills

    • Group discussion - participating
    • Journal club
    • Short informal presentation (using PowerPoint or not)
    • Paper critique
    • Short essay (1000-2000 words)
    • Critically evaluating sources/information
    • Finding literature
    • Referencing
    • Searching databases
    • Sourcing figures/tables
    • Generating questions
    • Reflective analysis
    • Critiquing experimental design
    • 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)