ETHOLOGY

ETHOLOGY

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iten
Code
26114
ACADEMIC YEAR
2018/2019
CREDITS
4 credits during the 2nd year of 9916 ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL SCIENCES (L-32) GENOVA

4 credits during the 2nd year of 8762 Biological Sciences (L-13) GENOVA

4 credits during the 3nd year of 8762 Biological Sciences (L-13) GENOVA

4 credits during the 2nd year of 10589 CONSERVAZIONE E GESTIONE DELLA NATURA (LM-60) GENOVA

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
BIO/05
LANGUAGE
Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL SCIENCES)
semester
1° Semester
Prerequisites
Teaching materials

OVERVIEW

Ethology deals with the study of animal and human behavior using an evolutionary approach. This perspective allows to formulate hypothesis on behavioral patterns that can be tested using experimental methods. Ethology provides indispensable information to be used both in the management and for conservation purposes.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The course of Ethology aims to provide students with the basic knowledge on animal behavior considered as a set of phenotypic characters subjected to natural (and sexual) selection and, therefore, adapted to the living environment. The numerous examples (some of which are treated in an extremely detailed manner both in their current and evolutionary aspects) should enable students to develop critical and analytical skills, useful for future in-depth analysis and personal research.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

Attendance and participation in the planned training activities will enable the student to acquire the knowledge of animal behavior in an adaptive key.

Specifically, the student will be able to:

• To know the main lines of historical development of the Ethology.

• To know the relationships between instinctive and learned behaviors in the development of behavioral patterns.

• To know the ontogeny and the phylogeny of behaviors.

• To  know rhythmic behaviors on different time scales.

• Understanding the main aspects of behavioral ecology (predation, defense, territoriality, reproduction, parental cares, sociality)

• To know the rudiments of human ethology

PREREQUISITES

To effectively address the teaching content the following basic knowledge is required: 1) General Biology, 2) General and Systematic Zoology; 3) Ecology; 4) Physiology

Teaching methods

The course consists of lectures. Attendance at lessons is strongly recommended. Lectures in the classroom are delivered through multimedia presentations.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

• Introduction to ethology (basic concepts and definitions).

• Bases of behavior: nervous system and sense organs, endocrine system, neurons, action potentials

• Organization of behavior (cycles)

• Instinctive behavior

• Learning (with notes on epigenetic modifications)

• Food behavior

• Collective behavior

• Social organization and hierarchies

• Choice of habitat and territoriality

• Orientation and navigation (in-depth analysis on bird migration)

• Communication (in-depth analysis on the singing of the birds)

• Courtship and sexuality

• Reproduction

• Parental care

• Exploitation of the code

• Human ethology

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

All slides used during lessons and other teaching materials will be available on AulaWeb at the end of each lesson cycle.

The following book is suggested as an example, but students can still use other university level texts. The recommended text is available and can be consulted at the M.F.N. School of Science Library

 

Alcock J., (All the editions). Etologia. Un approccio evolutivo. Edizione. Zanichelli, Bologna.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Ricevimento: Meetings with students will be agreed directly with the teacher

Exam Board

GIORGIO BAVESTRELLO (President)

MARZIA BO

FEDERICO BETTI

LESSONS

Teaching methods

The course consists of lectures. Attendance at lessons is strongly recommended. Lectures in the classroom are delivered through multimedia presentations.

LESSONS START

http://www.distav.unige.it/ccsbio/orario-lezioni-triennale

EXAMS

Exam description

The exam is oral and consists of the presentation of a topic chosen by the student and the answer to questions asked by the teacher on topics covered during the course. Three calls will be available in the winter session (January-February) and 3 calls in the summer session (June, July, September).

Assessment methods

Detailed information on how to prepare for the exam and the degree of detail required for each covered topic will be provided during the lessons. The oral examination will focus on the topics covered in class and will have the purpose to evaluate not only if the student has reached an adequate level of knowledge, but also if he has acquired the ability to recall the theoretical notions by applying them to simple concrete contexts. The ability to expose the arguments clearly and with correct terminology will also be evaluated.

Exam schedule

Date Time Location Type Notes
05/09/2019 09:30 GENOVA Orale
18/09/2019 09:30 GENOVA Orale

FURTHER INFORMATION

Regular attendance at lessons is strongly recommended.