Academic Teaching

BIOL 4303    Animal Behaviour

This course introduces students to the field of science that investigates the underlying mechanisms and functions of animal behaviour; the ways in which animals interact with each other, with their physical environment and other organisms; how animals find and defend resources, avoid predators, choose mates, reproduce, and care for their young; how complex animal societies are formed and how behaviour of an individual affects the structure of a population. 

The course is given in a series of 2-hour lectures and interactive classroom sessions, as follows: 

Class
Topics
1
  • Introduction and brief historic perspective

  • Basic survival strategies

2
  • Behaviour: Ultimate and proximate perspectives 

  • Evolution of behaviour 

3
  • Behavioural flexibility and adaptability 

4
  • The economics of optimal behaviour

Site visit: Location and topics vary between years

5
  • Individual, genes, and social behaviour

6
  • Ecology of group living

  • Socia-cognative behaviour

7
8
9
  • Sexual selection

  • Cooperation, reciprocity, empathy, and evolutionary game theory 

  • Student Talks: Insect societies

10
  • Socio-behavioural complexity - Part 1

11
  • Socio-behavioural complexity - Part 2

12
  • Students Talks: Topic of student's choice

13
  • The scale of complexity: Cultural transmission

14
  • Classroom Debates: Topics of student's choice

15
  • Comparative socio-ecology

16
  • Animal behaviour, behavioural ecology and biodiversity conservation

(To select courses, click on the animals below)

CETACEAN ECOLOGY LAB

The Swire Institute of Marine Science, The University of Hong Kong

​© 2019 by Cetacea Research Institute. All rights reserved.

Design by Carmen Or, Andy Lee and Leszek Karczmarski

Website administrator: Andy Lee