|Instructor||Office #||Office hours||email†||Phone #|
|Dr. Simon Gadbois||LSC 3326||by appointment: Zoom or Teamsfirstname.lastname@example.org||902–494–8848|
† e-mail communications: When sending an email to Dr. Gadbois please add “4160” or "6160” to the subject line.
PSYO/NESC 4160: Topics in Behavioural Biology
CREDIT HOURS: 3
CROSSLISTED: NESC 4160.03 and PSYO 4160.03
PSYO 6160: Comparative psychology
CREDIT HOURS: 3
The seminar will focus on topics and research in fundamental and applied animal behaviour relating mostly (but not exclusively) to conceptual breakthroughs and new trends in both behavioural biology (sensory ecology, cognitive ecology/ethology, neuroecology/neuroethology, socioecology, etc.) and comparative psychology (animal psychophysics, animal cognition with the exception of animal learning, etc.). For students (most likely undergraduate students) that took “Advanced Animal Behaviour” (PSYO/NESC 3162) with Dr. Gadbois, you can consider this class a natural follow-up to that course, but it also goes beyond the focus of 3162 (social behaviour and communication).
The topics will flexible and adapted to the interests of the class. Topics will be chosen by the students from the following list:
The course integrates both comparative (animal) psychology perspectives and biological perspectives (from ethology/neuroethology, behavioural ecology).
The adoption of topics will be flexible and adapted to the interests of the class.
Assigned readings; presentations from students.
The letter grade equivalents of numerical grades are shown below (from the Dalhousie Common Grade Scale). For 6160, please see the graduate calendar. Grades are not negotiable.
|PRESENTATIONS||DATES (due dates)||% of total grade|
|Presentation 1||see schedule below||40%|
|Presentation 2||see schedule below||40%|
|Evaluation from peers||day of presentations||10%|
|Participation, leading discussions, etc.||10%|
|Attendance||Mandatory: SDA with medical excuse necessary when class is missed; must make arrangements for alternative date or switch.|
|Slide decks||Friday, April 9||Mandatory submission via a dedicated Dropbox|
|Organization, structure, flow, clarity, consistency in formatting, and spelling.||/20|
|Topic mastery, comprehension, ability to answer questions.||/20|
|Analysis and critical assessment/discussion.||/20|
|Synthesis and integration of the themes and topics.||/20|
|Creativity and originality in content and presentation.||/20|
|Presentation skills, engagement, autonomy from (presenter) notes.||/20|
The schedule of presentations will follow the following schedule (to be filled/updated with names).
Note that the 2-presentation model was chosen for the Winter of 2021 based on the number of students enlisted. Each presentation will be maximum 20 minutes, plus 10 minutes for questions and discussion.
|January 12||Organizational meeting and introduction; Displays, ritualization and emancipation|
|January 19||Gadbois: The four C’s of modern (neuro)ethology and neuroethics: Cognition, Complexity, Conation and Culture, part 1|
|January 26||Gadbois: The four C’s of modern (neuro)ethology and neuroethics: Cognition, Complexity, Conation and Culture, part 2|
|February 2||1, 2, 3, 4|
|February 9||5, 6, 7, 8|
|February 16||Reading week|
|February 23||9, 10, 11, 12|
|March 2||13, 14|
|March 9||1, 2, 3, 4|
|March 16||5, 6, 7, 8|
|March 23||9, 10, 11, 12|
|March 30||13, 14|
|April 6||Overflow; wrap-up|
All the information you need is at http://academicintegrity.dal.ca/ and below. It is your responsibility to read, understand and respect the guidelines presented there. Make sure you understand the concept of “self-plagiarism”: you are not allowed to “recycle” papers or other projects submitted in other courses or from this course if you took it before.
All lectures are mandatory and absences will be noted and will influence your 10% for “Participation, leading discussions and debates, etc.” noted above. The percentage of missed classes will be reflected in deductions from that 10% of the course.
Students who miss their own presentation day due to debilitating distress or illness, must print, complete, and sign the STUDENT DECLARATION OF ABSENCE then deliver it (in person) to Dr Gadbois within 3 days of the absence (including weekends and holidays).
This form may only be used a maximum of two (2) times throughout the term and may only cover three (3) consecutive days of absence.
This form may NOT be used for absences lasting more than three (3) consecutive days.
For long-term or chronic absences please speak with either:
Electronic copies need to be submitted on time (PDF formats). Days missed include weekend days and holidays.
This course is governed by the academic rules and regulations set forth in the University Calendar and by Senate.
At Dalhousie University, we are guided in all of our work by the values of academic integrity: honesty, trust, fairness, responsibility and respect (The Center for Academic Integrity, Duke University, 1999). As a student, you are required to demonstrate these values in all of the work you do. The University provides policies and procedures that every member of the university community is required to follow to ensure academic integrity.
Online information here.
The Advising and Access Services Centre is Dalhousie’s centre of expertise for student accessibility and accommodation. The advising team works with students who request accommodation as a result of a disability, religious obligation, or any barrier related to any other characteristic protected under Human Rights legislation (Canada and Nova Scotia).
Online information here.
Everyone at Dalhousie is expected to treat others with dignity and respect. The Code of Student Conduct allows Dalhousie to take disciplinary action if students don’t follow this community expectation. When appropriate, violations of the code can be resolved in a reasonable and informal manner—perhaps through a restorative justice process. If an informal resolution can’t be reached, or would be inappropriate, procedures exist for formal dispute resolution.
Every person at Dalhousie has a right to be respected and safe. We believe inclusiveness is fundamental to education. We stand for equality. Dalhousie is strengthened in our diversity. We are a respectful and inclusive community. We are committed to being a place where everyone feels welcome and supported, which is why our Strategic Direction prioritizes fostering a culture of diversity and inclusiveness
Dalhousie University would like to acknowledge that the University is on Traditional Mi’kmaq Territory. The Elders in Residence program provides students with access to First Nations elders for guidance, counsel and support. Visit or e-mail the Indigenous Student Centre (1321 Edward St; email@example.com).
Online information here.