Updated August 2013

Instructor and Office Hours:
Dr. Marc Branham
Room 2005 Steinmetz Hall (Entomology Building)
TEL 352-273-3915
FAX 352 392-0190
EMAIL: marcbran@ufl.edu

Course Objective:
The goal of this course is to provide you with a sound theoretical and practical understanding of behavioral ecology and how phylogenetic methods can be employed to develop hypotheses of how various characters (whether morphological or behavioral) have evolved. While the course is not a class on “Phylogenetic methods” it is meant to teach students what a powerful tool phylogeny reconstruction is and the types of studies (and questions) it can be applied to. Furthermore, I have decided not to limit the coverage of the course to the behavior ecology of insects. Many interesting and amazing studies in behavioral ecology have been done with non-insect organisms and the lessons they teach us can be applied to insect systems in the future.

Course outline:
- Phylogeny Reconstruction
- Guest Lecturer - Fireflies
- Chap. 1, An evolutionary approach to animal behavior
- Chap. 2, Proximate and ultimate causes of behavior
- Chap. 3, The development of behavior - Heredity
- Chap. 4 The development of behavior - Environment
- Movie - BeetleMania
- Chap. 7, Adaptation and anti-predator behavior
- Chap. 8, Evolution of feeding behavior
- Chap. 10, Evolution of communication
- Chap. 11, Evolution of reproductive behavior
- Chap. 12, Evolution of mating systems
- Chap. 13, Evolution of parental care
Review for Final

Laboratory Exercises and Quizzes:
The laboratory exercises and quizzes will only cover material presented in lecture or lab from the most recent class period. Material covered will correspond to the textbook chapter and/or activity assigned for that week. Quizzes will normally be given at the start of class on Fridays and the format of these quizzes is short answer and/or essay. No quizzes can be made up without prior approval, but the lowest quiz score will be dropped. There will be at least 10 quizzes given during the course. Exercises will generally focus on the students applying concepts recently presented, either individually or in a group setting.

In Class Presentations:
The goal of the graduate student presentations is to provide an opportunity for students to investigate a topic within behavioral ecology that they are interested in, beyond the general treatment it will receive in my lecture - and to communicate the findings of studies on these topics to the class. This gives all members of the class an opportunity to learn additional material that may be interesting to them and/or important to their research. In addition, it also gives the graduate students practice at presenting biological data to an informed audience. Students giving presentation should summarize the topic of choice, explain what kinds of research has been conducted in this area and provide a citation list of all materials that were used to prepare the presentation. I expect students to use some type of visuals in their presentation. PowerPoint presentations are probably the most common. Pick a topic and discuss it with me no later than Jan. 14. Aim for a presentation length of approx. 20 min.. Please provide handouts for all students that include a bibliography. Further details about how these presentations will be graded will be provided.

Textbook: Alcock, J. 2001, Animal Behavior, 7th edition. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA.

Grading Criteria:
20% Exam #1 br> 20% Exam #2 br> 35% Final Exam br> 10% Lab exercises and quizzes br> 10% Presentation br> 5% Class participation (collecting, discussions, etc.) br>

Exams will be written and composed of at least one (if not more) of the following type questions: multiple choice, short answer or essay. Short answer and essay will be the most common. The final lecture exam is cumulative.

Final Grading Scale:
100-90 A
  89-85 B+
  84-80 B
  79-75 C+
  74-70 C
  69-65 D+
  64-60 D
   59-0 E

Students are responsible for all material distributed in and/or discussed in class. In the case of skipped classes, students are advised to obtain lecture notes and handouts from classmates unless there is a legitimate excuse, in which case I will be happy to help. Make-ups are not given except under circumstances of excused absence. Letting me know of a conflict or problem ahead of time may be all it takes to reach an arrangement.

UF Policy on E-mail:
“Official University business email will be communicated to students using the University GatorLink email account. That is, official email will be sent exclusively to GatorLinkUserName@ufl.edu. The preferred email address recorded for all students will be the GatorLink address. This is the email address displayed in the online phonebook. Students may continue to use the forwarding mechanism to deliver their email to other mail services, if they wish. However, it is the student’s responsibility to insure that the forwarding address is current so that they receive official communications from the University”.

Additional General Information: The following information applies to all courses at the University of Florida.We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standard of honesty and integrity.

Academic Honesty: As a result of completing the registration form at the University of Florida, every student has signed the following statement: "I understand that the University of Florida expects its students to be honest in all their academic work. I agree to adhere to this commitment to academic honesty and understand that my failure to comply with this commitment may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the University.

Copyrighted Materials and Software Use: All students are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing copyrighted material and software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against University policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the Instructor when requesting accommodation.

University Counseling Services: Resources are available on-campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career and academic goals which interfere with their academic performance. These resources include:

1. University Counseling Center, 301 Peabody Hall, 392-1575, personal and career counseling;
2. Student Mental Health, Student Health Care Center, 392-1171, personal counseling;
3. Sexual Assault Recovery Services (SARS), Student Health Care Center, 392-1161, sexual counseling; and
4. Career Resource Center, Reitz Union, 392-1601, career development assistance and counseling.