Vol. 63, No. 1 | March 2018

ABS 2018

ABS 2018 Plenaries


Damian Elias 
University of California, Berkley 

Complex Communication In Spiders:  How We Discovered That We Don't Know Anything 

Katie Slocombe
University of St. Andrews

Chimpanzee communication: have we underestimated vocalisations?

Oren Harman

Bar-Ilan University

Antlers and Altruists: George Price's Dramatic Role in the History of Animal Behavior

George Uetz
University of Cincinnati


Jeff Podos, ABS President
University of Massachusetts - Amherst

The Evolution of Alternative Reproductive Tactics


ABS 2018 Symposia

Sexual Dialogues
Organizers: Peter Dunn, Gerlinde Hoebel, Rafael Rodriguez, and Linda Whittingham

What Are We Not Asking About The Evolution of Behavior That We Should Be Asking
Organizers: Peter Dunn, Gerlinde Hoebel, Rafael Rodriguez, and Linda Whittingham

Animal Behavior in Historical Context: Novel Insights From Interdisciplinary Encounters
Organizers: Zuleyma Tang-Martinez

How Enemies Shape Communication Systems
Organizers: Ximena Bernal and Rachel Page

Presidential Symposium: Animal Communication, Cognition, and the Evolution of Language
Organizer: William A. Searcy

Allee Symposium for Best Student Poster Paper
Organizer: Jennifer Fewell


For a full description of each symposium including a list of speakers, please visit: http://www.animalbehaviorsociety.org/2018/program-symposia.php




Animal Behavior Teaching Collection

Thursday, August 2nd
Organizers: Heather Zimbler-DeLorenzo and Susan Longest

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.

Genomics for Animal Behaviorists

Thursday, August 2nd
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 pdunn@uwm.ed with their name, affiliation, and a few sentences about what they hope to learn or do with what they learn in the workshop.




Thursday, August 2, 2018, afternoon, tentative location: Urban Ecology Center (http://urbanecologycenter.org/our-branches/riverside-park.html)
Organizers: 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 (margulis@canisius.edu)





ABS meetings, open to ABS members and those interested in the science of animal behavior, are among the most respected scientific meetings in the animal behavior community. ABS is committed to providing a safe, productive and welcoming environment for all meeting participants and ABS staff. All participants including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, ABS staff, and service providers are expected to abide by this ABS Meetings Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct applies to all ABS meeting-related events including those sponsored by organizations other than ABS but held in conjunction with ABS events, in public or private facilities.

Expected Behavior:

  • All participants, attendees, ABS staff, and vendors are treated with respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions.
  • Be considerate, respectful, and collaborative.
  • Communicate openly with respect for others, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
  • Avoid personal attacks directed toward other attendees, participants, ABS staff and suppliers/vendors.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert ABS staff if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
  • Respect the rules and policies of the meeting venue, hotels, ABS contracted facility, or any other venue.
  • In accordance with ABS policy, request permission from speakers to audio record presentations. Request permission of the Executive Committee and the speaker to video record presentations. 
  • Respect presenters’ requests to refrain from disseminating the contents of their presentation on social media or other public platforms. Presenters wishing to opt-out of media dissemination are encouraged to indicate their wishes by including a logo in their presentation, available here. 
    Unacceptable Behavior                         
  • Harassment, intimidation or discrimination in any form will not be tolerated. 
  • Physical or verbal abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, ABS staff member, service provider or other meeting guest will not be tolerated.
  • Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to, verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin; inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations; threatening or stalking any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, ABS staff member, service provider or other meeting guest.
  • Disruption of talks at oral or poster sessions, in the exhibit hall or at other events organized by ABS at the meeting venue, hotels, or other ABS contracted facilities will not be tolerated.


  • Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.
  • ABS staff (or their designee) or security may take any action deemed necessary and appropriate, e.g., a verbal warning, immediate removal from the meeting without warning or refund, or reporting to the offender’s employer.
  • ABS reserves the right to prohibit attendance at any future meeting.
  • If you are the subject of unacceptable behavior or have witnessed any such behavior, please immediately notify an ABS staff member or ABS volunteer in a leadership position. The notifier is not required or expected to discuss the concern with the alleged offender. All complaints will be treated seriously and investigated promptly. Confidentiality will be honored to the extent permitted as long as the rights of others are not compromised.

Notification should be done by contacting an ABS staff person on-site or e-mail your concern to info@animalbehaviorsociety.org.

Anyone experiencing or witnessing behavior that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety is advised to contact 911 and locate a house phone, if available, and ask for security.

ABS shall not be responsible for any defamatory, offensive or illegal conduct of ABS meeting participants, and shall not be held liable for personal injury, property damage, theft, or damage of any kind suffered by the participants at or in connection with the ABS meeting.




Please see the link provided here for Travel Information: http://www.animalbehaviorsociety.org/2018/hotel-travel.php

Please visit our website for information on Accommodations: http://www.animalbehaviorsociety.org/2018/hotel.php


Please see the link provided below for information on Childcare:

The Animal Behavior Society offers grants to enable families with children to bring a care-giver to the meeting or to pay a care-giver to remain at home with the children. Please check the link below for information about the ABS Childcare Grants: http://www.animalbehaviorsociety.org/web/awards-care.php

Caregivers and children accompanying ABS registrants may receive free registration and are welcome to attend all conference events. 




ABS Newsletter

Send general correspondence concerning the Society to Patricia Brennan, secretary@animalbehaviorsociety.org. Deadlines for materials to be included in the Newsletter are the 15th of the month preceding each issue. The next deadline is April 15, 2018. Articles submitted by members of the Society and judged by the Secretary to be appropriate are occasionally published in the ABS newsletter. The publication of such material does not imply ABS endorsement of the opinions expressed by contributors.

Animal Behaviour

Animal Behaviour, manuscripts and editorial matters: Authors should submit manuscripts online to Elsevier’s Editorial System (http://ees.elsevier.com/anbeh/). For enquiries relating to submissions prior to acceptance, contact the Journal Manager (yanbe@elsevier.com). For enquiries relating to submissions after acceptance, visit Elsevier at http://www.elsevier.com/journals. For other general correspondence, contact Kris Bruner, Managing Editor, Animal Behaviour, Indiana University, 407 N. Park Ave., Bloomington, IN 47408, USA. E-mail: krbruner@indiana.edu.
Phone: 812-345-0497.

Change of address, missing or defective issues: ABS Central Office, 2111 Chestnut Ave., Ste 145, Glenview, IL 60025, USA. Phone: 312-893-6585, Fax: 312-896-5614,
E-mail: info@animalbehaviorsociety.org.