Behavioural Ecology

Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semesters 1-4

Typically offered in

Autumn/Spring semester

Course description

A practical covering four full days. The aim is to introduce the basic concepts and methodology used in most behavioural studies. Each half day starts with a discussion of ground information (4 x 2 hours, read the material provided beforehand). Then data collection in pairs (4 x 6 hours). Analyse your data individually (4 x 3 hours), Make a report from one of the topics at home (16 óra).

There are four practicals to choose from the list below. Each has a detailed description, data sheets and basic literature provided a/ how to prove human sexual dimorphism with anatomical and behavioural data b/ how to approach spatial variation in animals: a hypothetical flight to Hawaii c/ capture-mark-recapture: possibilities and constraints d/ risk sensitive vigilance in humans and its dependence on group size e/ optimal foraging: food choice when two kinds of prey differing in density and value f/ radiotelemetry: a comparison of triangling and hand localization.

Write a report of 10 pages (homework) a/ Analyse data gathered by all pairs of students b/ Create figures and add statistical results c/ Write an introduction part from the material provided by teacher d/ Collect additional literature (min 5 items) from the web using e/ Write a discussion comparing your results with other students and those in the references f/ Add an alphabetical list of literature used

  • Krebs J. R. and Davies N. B. 1993 An Introduction to Behavioural Ecology Blackwell Science

  • Bateson, PPG, Martin, P. 1999 Measuring behaviour 2nd edition Cambridge University Press

  • White, G.C., Garrott, R.A. 1990. Analysis of wildlife tracking data. Academic Press, New York.