McMaster University now boasts a large and interactive group of researchers who use evolutionary and psychophysical approaches to study animal behaviour. Members of the Animal Behaviour Group use a wide variety of techniques to conduct laboratory and field experiments on animals ranging from fruit flies to bats to mice to humans. Students have an opportunity to learn evolutionary analyses of behaviour, design and analyses of behavioural experiments, theoretical modeling, genetic analyses, and endocrine, physiological and neurobiological techniques.
Undergraduate courses in this area include Animal Behaviour (PNB 2XC3), Audition (PSYCH 3A03), Evolution & Human Behaviour (PSYCH 3F03), Motivation & Emotion (PSYCH 3M03), Animal Behaviour Lab (PNB 3S03), Behavioural Ecology (PSYCH 3T03), Special Topics in Animal Behaviour (PSYCH 4R03), and Hormones, Neurochemistry & Behaviour (PSYCH 4Y03). Students considering graduate school should consider completing a course with a strong research component (PNB 4QQ3, 4D06, 4DD6, 4D09). Breadth of training in allied fields (such as ecology, physiology, or chemistry) and/or possession of particular practical skills (such as statistical analysis, computer programming, or electronics) can be helpful. Many animal behaviourists teach and/or do research at universities or colleges. Many have academic appointments in biology, psychology or zoology departments. Researchers may work in laboratories or in the field, depending upon the nature of the research project. Applied animal behaviourists may be hired by zoos, museums, and government and private facilities to help conduct ongoing animal behaviour research.
- Evolution of parental care, sperm competition and cooperation
- Physiological, neurobiological and genetic mechanisms underlying behaviour in general and reproductive behaviour in particular
- Neuroethology of acoustic and auditory behaviour
- Adaptive significance of learning and other cognitive traits
- Evolutionary analyses of human cognition and behaviour
- Social learning of food and mate preferences
- Sexual selection Effects of learning on physiological regulation
The list below includes links to members' laboratories and email addresses. Please feel free to contact any member of the Animal Behaviour Group to discuss the possibility of Graduate studies. Financial support is available.