Netherlands, Utrecht

Observing Primate Behaviour

when 16 July 2018 - 27 July 2018
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 ECTS
fee EUR 975

The summer course Observing Primate Behaviour focuses on getting familiar with primate observational methods by observing primate social behaviour and following the scientific cycle. Through the analysis of gathered observational data, students investigate and present their own research questions.
Furthermore, the additional activities aim to provide the students with more background information on the different topics related to studying primate behaviour, such as welfare, colony management and fieldwork.

Observing Primate Behaviour logo Looking at primates is like looking in a mirror. Similar to humans, primates are highly sociable animals with complex social interactions. Relationships of primates are characterized by agonism, affiliation and sex. Understanding their social behaviour requires objective observational methods and careful data analysis. The summer course Observing Primate Behaviour focuses on getting familiar with primate observational methods by observing primate social behaviour and following the scientific cycle. Through the analysis of gathered observational data, students investigate and present their own research questions.

As the name suggests, the summer course ‘Observing Primate Behaviour’ focuses on observing behaviour and therefore includes actual data collection of primate social behaviour by live observations. The course employs the scientific cycle by asking and answering research questions through the analysis of the gathered observational data. The student uses statistical methods (using R studio/SPSS Statistics and MatMan) to analyse the data and will present their own research both in writing and verbally.

In addition, the course includes lectures on animal behaviour, behavioural research experiences, a social event and visit to the famous Dutch primate zoo Apenheul, Apeldoorn. The observations will be conducted on the colony of long-tailed macaques that is used for behavioural biology studies, housed at the Biomedical Primate Research Centre (BPRC), Rijswijk. The BPRC provides one day in the program with information and discussions on the ethics of animal husbandry, welfare and experimentation.

The course is open for (advanced) bachelor and master students with an interest in biology, zoology and ethology and having followed and passed a basic statistical course. This course is particularly interesting for biology/psychology/zoology students who wish to gain experience in using observational methods to study (animal) behaviour.

The course has a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 16 participants. Applicants should send a letter with a short motivation (max 200 words) and short resume, including information on general education and courses on animal behaviour topics (if any) and statistics (course title, book(s) used, time spend and grades). Applications should be submitted before 1 June 2018; admission depends on education level and order of application.

Course leader

Prof. Dr. E.H.M. Sterck

Target group

The course is open for advanced bachelor and master students with an interest in biology, zoology and ethology and having followed and passed a basic statistical course. This course is particularly interesting for biology/psychology/zoology students who wish to gain experience in using observational methods to study (animal) social behaviour.

Course aim

The course aims to get students acquainted with the full spectrum of studying primate social behaviour. Therefore the course includes experience with actual data collection of primate social behaviour by live observations, employs the scientific cycle by asking and answering research questions through the (statistical) analysis of the gathered observational data and lets students present their own research both in writing and verbally. Furthermore, the additional activities aim to provide the students with more background information on the different topics related to studying primate behaviour, such as welfare, colony management and fieldwork.

Credits info

3 ECTS
Certificate of Attendance

Fee info

EUR 975: Course + course materials + housing
EUR 625: Course + course materials

Scholarships

Utrecht Summer School doesn't offer scholarships for this course.

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