Comparative Canine Behavior

Organizers: Robin Foster and Camille Ward

The past decade has experienced an explosion of research on domestic dogs, with a doubling in the number of scientific publications on canine behavior. This symposium provides a rare opportunity for researchers studying canine behavior to share their work with one another and with a wider audience of animal behaviorists. At present there is no academic forum for canine behavior research in North America; ABS is an ideal parent organization for that purpose and this symposium could serve as a starting point for such a gathering.

This symposium emphasizes a comparative, cross-species approach and highlights studies on the behavior of both domestic dogs and their wild counterparts. This integrative approach furthers the understanding of evolutionary relationships among canine species by addressing both functional and mechanistic causes and illustrating varied research methodologies. Issues related to the evolution, conservation, and welfare of canids will be explored. Importantly, the topic of comparative canine behavior connects ABS members who conduct basic and applied research.

Clive Wynne, PhD, Arizona State University.  The dog: an animal with many roles.
Monique Udell, PhD, Oregon State University. What makes the social behavior of dogs unique?
Janice Koler-Matznick, MS, ACAAB, The New Guinea Singing Dog Conservation Society.  Natural Canis familiaris behavior?
Enikő Kubinyi, PhD, Eötvös Loránd University. What is the significance of socialization in wolves?
Kathryn Lord, PhD, Hampshire College. Sensory development and socialization in wolves (Canis lupus) and dogs (Canis familiaris).
Simon Gadbois, PhD, Dalhousie University. Complex behaviours without cognitive control? Food caching sequences in red foxes, coyotes, and wolves.
Anna Kukekova, PhD, University of Illinois. Genomics of friendly behavior in silver fox (Vulpes vulpes).
Nicole Dorey, PhD, CAAB, University of Florida. A systematic approach for assessing canine preferences.
Sarah Marshall-Pescini, PhD, Wolf Science Center.  Cooperation and tolerance in wolves and dogs.
Camille Ward, PhD, CAAB, About Dogs LLC, Ann Arbor, MI. Dog-to-dog (Canis familiaris) greetings.

New Frontiers in Animal Communication: In Honor of H. Carl Gerhardt

Organizers: Margaret Ptacek and Felix Breden

For nearly fifty years, H. Carl Gerhardt has led the field of animal communication through integrative study of signal-receiver coevolution in anurans. This symposium results from Carl's recent retirement, and honors his many insights and influences on the field of animal communication. By including a broad representation of communication modes and highlighting research efforts that span both proximate and ultimate explanations of signal-receiver evolution, the symposium aims to show the direction and focus of future studies in animal communication.

Andrew Bass, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University: It's All a Matter of Timing: Turning on and Tuning in to Acoustic Signals
Mark Bee, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota: Perception and Cognition in Animal Communication
Felix Breden, Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University: Sexual Selection and the Evolution of Visual Communication in Live-bearing Fishes
Reginald Crocroft, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia: Decisions of Insects and Plants, Based on Plant-borne Vibrations
Molly Cummings, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas-Austin: Linking Mate Choice with Cognition in Poeciliid Fishes
Eileen Hebets, School of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Animal Communication Goes Multidimensional
Georg Klump, Department for Neuroscience, Carl von Ossietzky Universität, Oldenburg, Germany: Neural Basis for Auditory Scene Analysis
Emily Moriarty Lemmon, Department of Biological Science, Florida State University: Phylogenomics of Acoustic Communication in Speciation
Jeffrey Podos, Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts-Amherst: Vocal Performance in Frogs and Birds
Margaret Ptacek, Department of Biological Sciences, Clemson University: The Legacy of H. Carl Gerhardt and the Future of Animal Communication
Kerry Shaw, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University: Genetic Basis of Evolution in Acoustic Behavior
Philip Stoddard, Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University: Coding and Reliability in Electric Fish Signals

Using Tinbergen’s Four Questions to Understand Emerging Conservation Concerns in Behavioral Toxicology 

Organizers: Elizabeth Peterson and John Swaddle

Behavioral toxicology (also known as behavioral teratology) is the study of how anthropogenic pollutants alter behavior, and is an emerging field of global importance to both conservation and public health. The disciplines of behavioral toxicology and teratology have made great strides in understanding how human pollution disrupts behavior and contributes to disease. Although great emphasis in the field of toxicology has been placed on understanding how single pollutants affect individual phenotypes, a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach that includes animal behavior is essential to address how anthropogenic compounds are risk factors for species and population survival in an increasingly polluted world. This symposium will address issues in behavioral toxicology using the framework of Tinbergen’s four questions to understand how pollutants affect behavior in terms of causation and mechanisms, development and ontogeny, function and fitness, as well as evolutionary history and phylogenetic patterns. The goals of this symposium are to: 1) address the issue that behavioral toxicology is relevant and important when assessing the conservation and preservation of populations, 2) provide a framework for the study of the evolution of behaviors, and 3) identify areas of behavioral toxicology that require further attention to facilitate the future of behavioral toxicology as a discipline within both the behavior and toxicology fields. We intend to produce a review article as a result of the presentations and discussion at this symposium.

Introduction and Opening Remarks: John Swaddle, William & Mary. Behavioral ecotoxicology: how studying environmental pollutants can enrich our understanding of animal behavior and vice versa.
Causation and mechanisms: Tyrone Hayes, UC Berkeley. Title: TBD
Development and ontogeny: Frances Champagne, Columbia University. Epigenetic impact of prenatal exposures on developmental trajectories.
Function and fitness: Claire Ramos, Colorado State University-Pueblo. Behavioral effects of environmental contaminants on individual fitness.
Evolutionary history and phylogenetic patterns: David Buchwalter, Associate Professor, North Carolina State University. Phylogenetic perspectives in environmental toxicology.
Emerging issues for conservation: Jacob Kerby, Univeristy of South Dakota. Understanding the effects of emerging contaminants and their implications for conservation.
Concluding remarks: Elizabeth Peterson, SUNY-Albany.
Panel discussion and Q&A session: John Swaddle and Elizabeth Peterson

Behavioral Genomics in Non-Model Systems

Organizers: David Schulz, Johannes Schul and Zuleyma Tang-Martinez

Much work in animal behavior has been comparative; understanding the origins of behavioral diversity and how behavior contributes to the evolution of the diversity of life, have been central questions in animal behavior. Over the last 15 years, much work was done with the understanding that the molecular and genomic tools developed in model organisms would become available for non-model systems in the near future. This time has arrived: among others, next generation sequencing and reduction in costs allowed the application of genomic methods to non-model species. A multitude of studies focusing on the molecular and genetic basis of behavior has recently emerged, spanning a wide taxonomic range as well a many levels of analysis.

This symposium aims to highlight this recent work on behavioral genomics. We plan to include diverse study system (e.g. social insects, crustaceans, fish), while focusing on non-model systems. We will span a wide range of analysis-levels, from simple motor behaviors to social behaviors and eusociality. We will also focus on some speakers that have utilized both traditional “model” systems and non-model systems in an integrative fashion in order to bring the strengths of both together. The goal of this symposium to introduce a wide range of animal behaviorists to these exciting new methods and approaches. We want to highlight their feasibility for many studies that historically were not suitable for molecular work. One topic that will be covered in this symposium is the discussion of the best way to incorporate these methods into our research programs. We hope to inspire animal behaviorists to seriously consider genomic and molecular approaches for their future studies of animal behavior.

A Fellow's Talk by Doug P. Chivers, University of Saskatchewan. Alarm Behavior in Fishes.

Sarah Kocher, Princeton University
Kim Hoke, Colorado State University
Steven Phelps, University of Texas Austin
Christina Grozinger, Penn State University
Paul Katz, Georgia State University
David Schulz, University of Missouri-Columbia
Deborah Gordon, Stanford University
Jenny Tung, Duke University

Presidential Symposium

Organizer: Regina Macedo

Topics will include: cooperative breeding in anis, lek systems in manakins, cooperative breeding in fairy-wrens, evolution of coloniality in spiders, cooperative breeding in marmosets, breeding aggregation in voles, horseshoe crab breeding aggregations, breeding aggregations in grassquits

Regina Macedo, Universidade de Brasília. Introduction and opening remarks
Christina Riehl, Princeton University. Fitness consequences of multilevel sociality in the cooperatively breeding greater ani (Crotophaga major)
Emily DuVal, Florida State University. The spatial dynamics of female choice: do male aggregations facilitate mate comparisons?
Mike Webster, Cornell University. Physiology, social interactions, and the honesty of sexual signals
Jonathan Pruitt, University of California, Santa Barbara. Breeding aggregations beget unstable population dynamics but adaptive group traits in social spiders
Emilia Yamamoto, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte. Male and female breeding strategies in the common marmoset Callithrix jacchus
Nancy Solomon, Miami University. Dispatches from the field: Intraspecific variability in prairie vole sociality
Jane Brockmann, University of Florida. Breeding aggregations in horseshoe crabs: Causes of structural complexity
Regina Macedo, Universidade de Brasília. Breeding aggregations in the blue-black grassquit: a test of the hidden lek hypothesis
Regina Macedo, Universidade de Brasília. Closing remarks

Allee Symposium for Best Student Poster Paper

Organizer: Jeff Podos

This symposium features outstanding graduate student research, with an award for the best paper, and is a highlight of ABS meetings. The session honors Dr. Warder Clyde Allee (1885–1955), an animal behavior researcher who was very influential in the development and direction of animal behavior research in the 20th century. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1951 and ranks among the leading twentieth century ecologists, especially for his work in behavioral and animal ecology. In the 2016 ABS Allee Session, students will present their research to ABS members and talk judges.