Animal Behavior

animal behavior

Animal Behavior draws connections between the biological approach to studying the evolution, development and mechanisms of animal behavior with the anthropological focus on primates and understanding the evolution of human social behavior and intelligence. Animal observation and learning methods of data collection are central elements in behavioral science classes.  The FIG Seminar is a time to engage with both Dr. White and your FIG assistant about the topics you are learning in class, as well as concerns you have about your academic career in general.   

Deep-Dive FIG: Please note this FIG attends multiple mandatory field trips. This course has been vetted by First Year Programs to ensure first-term students can achieve success.


Students explore the intersection of topics by taking the following course package: ​​​​​

UGST 109 First-Year Experience Seminar - 1-credit

ANTH 171 Introduction to Monkeys and Apes - CoreEd or major satisfying course, 4-credits

This course examines our closest relatives, the Primates (prosimians, monkeys and apes) in an evolutionary context. Humans are more closely related to nonhuman primates than they are to any other group of animals. We share in common with them an array of important adaptive features such as high intelligence, complex communication systems, diverse feeding adaptations and diets, and a reliance on social groups. Understanding of the ecology, behavior, and evolution of non-human primates helps anthropologists to identify and interpret those features that unite us with the Primate Order. Throughout this course, we will look at evolutionary features that define and shape the Order Primates. We will also learn the taxonomy and evolutionary history of the primates, and evaluate the ways in which anatomy and ecology shape primate behavior. Lectures will include information from studies of primates in their natural habitats, and discussions will be oriented to both evolutionary and ecological perspectives.

BI 121 Introduction to Human Physiology - CoreEd or major satisfying course, 4-credits

Human physiology is simply the study of "what makes us tick." In studying this fascinating and ever-expanding area together, we will rely upon the central-linking theme of homeostasis (balance in the fluid outside of cells) and work to maximize practical application to real-life settings. We will explore the relationships and uniquenesses of structure (anatomy) and function (physiology), and will participate in anatomy & physiology and histology (microscopic anatomy) laboratories. We'll study some basics of cell structure, function and genetics, and examine a special section on nutrition and digestion, which includes a unique dietary analysis lab and discussion of recently popular low-carbohydrate diets.