Pre-conference Events

Pre-Conference Events & Workshops

The ABS Pre-conference day is Thursday, August 2. Additional workshops and details will be posted here as they become available.


Animal Behavior Teaching Collection

Thursday, August 2
8:00AM - 12:00PM
Kenwood IRC 1150

Organizers: Heather Zimbler-DeLorenzo, Andrea Bierema, Deborah Boege-Tobin and Eduardo Bessa

After creating an Animal Behavior teaching activity or module, publish it using the Animal Behavior Teaching Collection on EcoEd. This free half day workshop will show you how to use the site, other useful teaching resources sites, and focus on the publishing aspect of teaching resources. This workshop will also continue to build off of past Education workshops and introduce new ideas for teaching methodologies.

This is a free workshop. To sign-up, please login to your ABS account and add it to your registration form.

2018 ABS Outreach Fair: Adventures in Animal Behavior

Thursday, August 2
12:00PM - 4:00PM
Urban Ecology Center

Organized by the ABS Education Committee

It is hard to imagine a field better suited to science outreach than animal behavior. People have innumerable questions about the behavior of their pets or squirrels in their backyard, techniques and experiments are easy to demonstrate, and applications range from agriculture and conservation to understanding our own behavior. Each year ABS members come together by the hundreds at the annual meeting, offering a great opportunity to reach out to the local community to excite them about behavior research and science more generally. For the last several years, over 30 labs (about 15/year) have participated in the ABS Outreach Fair, which is generally hosted by local museums and natural history centers. Students, postdocs, and PIs have been working to translate their research into engaging and informative activities for the public, from taking fake birds out of mistnets and tracking stuffed mice with radio collars, to watching butterflies get marked and released. Letting kids participate in such methodological demonstrations is often a great hook for telling them about what we can learn from animal behavior. Fair participants have also designed creative ways to communicate concepts from their work, such as the ease with which some animals can distinguish olfactory cues, whereas we are much more visually oriented or the importance of learning in behavior. Thanks to the generous efforts of local museums and the ABS participants, each of these fairs has attracted a diverse audience, generally 300-600 members of the public, from toddlers to teens to seniors. The kids are invariably excited to explore each and every display and have been overheard remarking “Look Mom, a girl scientist!” While the outreach fair has proven a valuable event for the local community, it has emerged as equally exciting for the ABS participants. When else does one have an opportunity to see the famed “Patricelli Robogrouse” in action? And what better way to learn about possible systems for dissertation research than to see fish, spiders, termites, caterpillars and bees gathered together in one room with people that know how to work with them? Students have also remarked that having to explain their research to such a wide audience forced them to think about the broader importance of their work. And each year, the participants learn a lot about what activities work well for communicating their research (kids love prizes!) and which ones fall a little flat (people would rather do something than read something). Is your lab interested in participating in this year’s outreach fair? Please contact Sue Margulis ([email protected])


Genomics for Animal Behaviorists

Thursday, August 2
12:30PM - 4:30PM
Mitchell 353

Organizer: Peter Dunn

This workshop will introduce genomics to animal behaviorists and help them get started using these techniques in their research. We will discuss study design, choice of methods, including practical issues of sequencing facilities, cost and computing resources, and then proceed to some brief hands-on data analyses based on the interests of the participants. The only background assumed is a basic knowledge of statistics and genetics, familiarity with your computer and interest in learning current genomic methods. This is a free half day workshop on Thursday, 2 Aug (12:30-4:30). Interested persons should send an email to [email protected] with their name, affiliation, and a few sentences about what they hope to learn or do with what they learn in the workshop.


Conference Events & Workshops

ABS 2018 has various social and committee events and workshops throughout the conference dates. Additional conference event details will be posted below as they become available.


Conservation Committee Workshop

Friday, August 3
3:00PM - 6:00PM
LUB N120

Organizers: ABS Conservation Committee

The ABS Conservation Committee (ABS-CC) organizes workshops every other year at the ABS conference where we invite conservation practitioners from the field to present on issues they are facing protecting species. The one-day workshops are then aimed at applying behavioral theory and research to solving these real-world conservation problems. At ABS 2018, conservation behaviorists will be giving 10-minute talks to set the stage for the next workshop, which will be held at ABS 2019 in Chicago. The pre-workshop talks at ABS 2018 will also be filmed and made available online (see below for speakers and topics). The presentations will start at approximately 3:30PM and after the talks there will be a discussion and ABS-CC meeting. Anyone interested in conservation behavior is welcomed to join, regardless of whether you plan to attend the 2019 workshop, and this is a free event.

Barbara Clucas - Introduction to ABS-CC workshops
Rich Buchholz – What is conservation behavior?
Bruce Schulte – How do you do conservation behavior?
Misty McPhee – Connecting with conservation practitioners
Alison Greggor – Systematic reviews and conservation behavior


ABS Film Festival

Saturday, August 4
8:00PM - 12:00PM
Union Ballroom

Organizer: Barbara Clucas

The ABS Film Festival features outstanding films that portray important concepts in animal behavior research and education. Categories include both professional (commercial) and amateur (non-commercial) films produced in the preceding five years. In this way, the Film Festival promotes the Animal Behavior Society’s goals of research, teaching, and conservation at the university level. In addition, ABS members are encouraged to bring short video clips of their own to share in an informal film event The festival is attended by several hundred scientists, professors, applied practitioners, and students from across the globe. Click here to view the film descriptions and schedule .


Public Affairs Committee: Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition

Sunday, August 5
2:30PM - 3:30PM
Lapham 185

Organizers: Public Affairs Committee

How sharp are your science communication skills? Put them to the test in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition! 3MT was originally developed by the University of Queensland for cultivate PhD students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. PhD students must effectively present their research in under three minutes, with minimal visual aids, in a manner accessible to a non-specialist audience. The only prop allowed is a single PowerPoint slide, with no animation, sound, or video. Competitors must have achieved candidacy in a doctoral program but not have received their PhD as of June 11, 2018. They will be judged on their content, clarity, accessibility, and presentation skills. Participation will be limited to 12 students. First come, first serve. The top 3 winners will receive prizes! For more information about 3MT, including examples from past competitions, check out their website at To apply please email [email protected] with the Subject line: '3M Thesis Application'.