The Ethogram* is the official blog of the UC Davis Animal Behavior Graduate Group.
*An ethogram is a list or catalogue of behaviors that are being studied in animal behavior research (also known as ethology).
Statement of purpose: The Ethogram encourages interaction between scientists and non-scientists in order to spark curiosity and passion for the study of animal behavior and general scientific research. Our mission is to create a platform that allows scientists to disseminate their research in approachable and exciting ways. In doing so, we also aim to train the next generation of science communicators. Using diverse narratives of animals and those who study them, we provide accessible scientific information through a variety of media types, from text to sketch to video.
Alexandra McInturf (@AGMcInturf) studies the effect of environmental factors on movement in elasmobranch predators (sharks, skates and rays), emphasizing its relevance to conservation. As a graduate student in Animal Behavior at UC Davis, her research focuses on using biotelemetry and biologging to track basking shark and flapper skate movement in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. More generally, she’s also interested in examining the social drivers of shark behavior.
Neetha Iyer studies the interplay between disease and sociality in animals. Her research seeks to understand the evolutionary underpinnings of social behavior by evaluating the costs and benefits of group-living in the hope of informing conservation practices. She is currently examining the effects of ranging patterns and social behavior on gastrointestinal parasite transmission in critically-endangered Grauer’s gorillas. In other words, she deals in the science of poop. She is passionate about promoting diversity in STEM fields by increasing public access to basic research, for example through the Outreach Program in the Department of Anthropology. She loves being a part of The Ethogram family and is motivated by their shared enthusiasm for all creatures great and small
Amelia Munson is interested in an animal’s behavioral responses to human induced changes in the environment. In particular she is studying how parental care can prepare offspring for the introduction of novel predators. She works with stickleback, a species of fish where the father engages in parental care of the newborn fry.
Meredith Lutz is interested in the interplay between social behavior and conservation. Previously, she studied the evolutionary function of play behavior in several species of monkeys. Currently, she studies the nature and drivers of seasonal social network plasticity, focusing on several species of lemurs (primates from Madagascar).
Allison Lau is a graduate student in the Animal Behavior Graduate Group who studies monogamy in non-human primates. Her current research focuses on coppery titi monkey duet vocalizations as a reinforcer of pair-bonding, but she has worked with gibbons, rhesus macaques, and baboons previously.
Victoria Farrar is our social media editor and a part of the Animal Behavior Graduate Group. She is interested in the physiological mechanics “under the hood” of animal behavior. Her current research looks at how parental care affects reproduction and stress, using birds as a model.
Karli Chudeau is in the Animal Behavior Graduate Group and a part of the UC Davis Center for Animal Welfare. She is interested in conservation management and assessing animal welfare in wildlife rehabilitation settings. Her current research examines how we can use behavioral management interventions, such as environmental enrichment, to improve reintroduction success with pinnipeds.
Adrian Perez is a graduate student in the Animal Behavior Graduate Group. He studies social insects, division of labor, and how colony social networks inhibit or increase the spread of disease in a colony (Photo Credit: Crystal Apilado/Winters Express).
Maggie Creamer is in the Animal Behavior Graduate Group and a part of the UC Davis Center for Animal Welfare. She is interested in assessing beef cattle behavior and how it influences grazing distribution on extensive rangelands.
Jessica Schaefer is interested in the evolution of mating systems and studies how organisms’ environment and interactions influence their reproductive behavior. Previously, she studied the mating system of hermaphroditic limpets in the rocky intertidal in Panama. Jessica is also passionate about education and served as program coordinator for an intertidal citizen science project for K12 students in Hawaii. She is currently a PhD student in the Animal Behavior Graduate Group at UC Davis.
Lindsey Broadus is in the Animal Behavior Graduate Group and a part of the UC Davis Center for Animal Welfare. She is interested in how early environmental factors can have later effects on adult reproductive behaviors. Currently, she is working with ducks as a model. Previous work involved studying seabird incubation behavior on Southeast Farallon Island.
Nicole Korzeniecki is a graduate student in the Animal Behavior Graduate Group at UC Davis. She’s interested in the dynamics of social insect colonies, specifically in collective decision-making and the self-organization of complex behaviors.
Josephine Hubbard applies social network analysis to address conservation issues of wild non-human primates. She is interested in how primates respond to changing environments and how anthropogenic influences may affect their physical, social, and reproductive behavior. More specific interests include the effects of crop-raiding, ecotourism, shared land use, and disease transmission in several species of macaques in Central and Southeast Asia.
Alexander Vining is a PhD candidate in the Animal Behavior Graduate Group studying spatial memory and navigation, with an emphasis on primates. He loves being in the field, previously working in the Ugalla region of Tanzania, and now planning a field season on Barro Colorado Island in Panama. Alexander is also interested in new methods for modelling and statistical analysis, and hopes to combine advances in these topics with his fieldwork to answer new questions about how animals move and plan routes in their natural habitats.
Elizabeth Postema, a PhD student in the Animal Behavior Graduate Group, studies the interactions between anti-predator coloration and behavior in insects. She’s especially interested in the signal constraints and tradeoffs that influence the development of context-dependent, temporally dynamic, and/or multipurpose color patterns. Her main study organisms are caterpillars in the swallowtail family (Papilionidae).
Christofer Brothers (left) is a graduate student in the Animal Behavior Graduate Group at UC Davis. He is interested in the tools and tactics that different predators employ, especially dragonflies, and has a soft spot for parasites. He also has an unhealthy love of puns.
Kelly Finn is interested in the intersection of complexity science and animal behavior, specifically in fractal-like patterns in individual behavior sequences and social network structure. Her current research involves rhesus macaques, but she has previously studied a variety of species, from tadpoles to elephants.
Ryane Logsdon is interested in sexual selection, cooperative, and altruistic behaviors. She has researched display behavior in Anolis lizards, cognition in American Crows, and is currently studying mating behavior on the lekking Greater Sage Grouse.