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BI407 Fall 2020​ Animal Behavior Lab 
TFs:​ Brandon Güell & Julie Jung   Lab Me​etings: ​ALL​ ​via Zoom (except Lab 2)​ ​   Meeting ID: ​953 3168 3457 
  Password: frogsrcool 
Office Hours:   
By appointment​ ​via: 
Monday ​2:30 pm - 5:15 pm  Wednesday ​6pm - 8:45pm 
  Thursday ​12:30pm - 3:15pm 
Top Hat:  Friday​ 2:30pm - 5:15pm 
Join Code: 087415  Please let both TFs know 2 days 
  in advance if you plan to attend a 
  different lab session.  
  All vector art herein drawn 
  by Julie Jung 
This syllabus is “more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules!” 
– Captain Barbossa (and Brandon & Julie) 
Assignment due
Lab # Date Lab activity (beginning of class)

week of
0 Labor Day - NO LAB NONE
Sept 7th

Presentation:​ Introduction + What is science +
How to read a scientific article. Complete “Introductions
week of
1 In-class activity: ​Read Beever et al. (2017) and & favorite animal
Sept 14
complete “Reading + Engaging with Scientific behavior factoid”
Literature” assignment
Complete “Scientific
Article Homework” on a
week of peer-reviewed article
2 Field trip: ​Ideal free distribution (IFD) in ducks
Sept 21 &
Read IFD prelab & meet at
Boston Commons

In-class activities:​ (​ 1) The how and why of

week of
3 behavior ​and (2) Animal observation IFD lab report ​due
Sept 28

In-class activity​: (1) Lab report discussions and

week of
4 (2) peer review workshop (Word doc Popular press article ​due
Oct 5

week of
NA Indigenous Peoples’ Day - NO LAB NONE
Oct 12
Animal observation mini
week of Animal observation presentations
5 lab report ​AND
Oct 19 In-class activity: ​Presentation peer-reviews
presentations ​due
In-class activity: ​(1) Optimal foraging (2) Squirrel
week of First pass​ of Sauter 2006
6 foraging lab intro and (3) Final project topic
Oct 26 & (3 C’s) question
In-class activity: ​Research proposal draft
workshop & Innate vs. learned behavior
week of Mini presentations​: ​Topics in groups, make Squirrel foraging lab
Nov 2 concept summary cards (one slide) that you report ​due
present to the class (example topics on Khan
Academy Page)
week of In-class activity: ​ ​(1) Brood parasite concept First pass​ of ​three​ articles
Nov 9 cards (2) Final project outline & (3 C’s) question
Research proposal draft
In-class activity: ​(1) Reproductive behavior (2)
week of due​ AND ​Read Basolo
9 SimBio “family matters” (3) Research proposal
Nov 16 1990 & Write discussion
draft peer review
In-class activity: ​(1) Cooperative behavior (2)
week of Read Reed et al 2019
10 SimBio “Sections 1–5” (3) Reed et al 2019
Nov 23 before coming to class

week of
NA Thanksgiving Recess - NO LAB NONE
Nov 30
Final research proposal
week of
11 Final research proposal presentations AND ​Final research
Dec 7
presentation ​due
Note: lab activities are subject to change as the semester proceeds  

Grading (100 points total) 

Assignments must be turned in on the day they are due. Any assignments turned in 
late will be subject to penalty described below.  
Assignment types: Pre-class assignments 
  Lab reports 
In-class participation  
(via discussion & Top Hat) 
In-class assignments 
Final project 
Final presentation 
Assignment  Points 
Pre-class assignments   15 
Lab reports  30 
In class participation   10 
In class assignments   15 
Final project  15 
Final presentation   15 
Grading Policy 
Please see the guidelines and/or rubrics for each specific assignment for more exact grading criteria. 
Many of the points lost in this class are due to not following the rubric, so please read them closely.   
Assignments are due by the ​beginning​ of each class period​. 

Lab Reports ​(10 points each) 
Lab reports should be ​two pages max, double-spaced, and in 12pt. Times New Roman font​. 
Margins should be 1”. Reports should include the following sections in the following order: 
Introduction, Materials & Methods, Results, Discussion, Tables*, Figures*, and 
References​. Tables, figures, and references should be placed after the main body of text and do not 
count towards the 2-page length limit. Each lab report should include ​at least three​ primary 
literature citations. Be sure to add them with parenthetical citations in the text (e.g. Jung & Güell 
2020) and provide full citations in the References section. Methods sections should include detailed 
explanations about the specific statistical tests used for each analysis you report. Lab reports will be 
graded for thoroughness and quality. Try to keep your writing clear and concise! 

Your Results section should be formatted like the Results

section of journal articles. It should report the results of the
experiment without commenting on or interpreting them. You
cannot report any results that are not supported by statistical
tests. ​The summary statistics for a test should be reported
in parentheses after the relevant sentence​. See below for an
example. The most important of these is typically the ​p-value​,
which summarizes the statistical probability of the result.
Typically, we consider p-values of ​less than 0.05​ to be
significant. This means that there is less than a 5% probability
that the results were obtained by chance.​ ​When a p-value is
less than 0.0001, it should be reported as p<0.0001.

When you report a result that has a corresponding figure or table, refer to the figure or table in
parentheses at the end of that sentence, like this (Fig. 1). Make sure to refer to every table and
figure in this section! Figures and tables should be captioned with a comprehensive but brief
summary. ​Figure captions should be placed below figures and table captions should be
placed above tables. Do not title figures. ​Remember to label all axes. Include the units of
measurement if relevant.

*These sections should be included in reports only when applicable.


Example Results sentence:

Students received significantly better grades on their results sections after reading the guidelines
in the syllabus (t=-4.06, p=0.002, Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Average grades of students’ results sections before and after reading the
guidelines in the lab manual. There was a significant increase in the mean score of the
assignments. Box plots show medians, interquartile range (IQR), and extent of data to
Final Project: Research Proposal  
(15 points for written, 15 points for 
The research proposal will be completed as pairs or 
individually. It can be based on any principle of animal 
3-Page Written Research Proposal  
(double spaced, 1” margins, 12pt Times New Roman font; page 
limit does not include tables, figures, or references)  

Research proposals will be three pages max, double-spaced, and in 12pt. Times New 
Roman font​.  
Margins should be 1”. Proposals should include the following sections in the following order: 
Background, Proposed Research, Methods, Anticipated Results, Significance, and 
References​. References do not count towards the three-page maximum length. You may include 
tables and figures that are appropriate and relevant. One idea is to create figures on predicted data 
or other results that you might predict. Tables, figures, and references should be placed after the 
main body of text and will not be counted towards the 3-page length limit. The background section 
of your proposal should include background information about your study system and all facts 
should be supported with proper citations. The proposed research section should include your 
explicit research questions, your hypotheses, and your predictions. The methods sections should 
include detailed information about how you would test your hypothesis using observational or 
experimental approaches and details about the specific statistical tests you would use for each 
analysis. The references section should include a minimum of 10 scientifically valid (i.e. peer 
reviewed) sources relating to your proposed study. Research Proposals will be graded for 
thoroughness and quality. Try to keep your writing clear and concise!  
Research Presentation  
The presentation will be presented by all members of 
the group. Your group will have 5–10 minutes to 
present your proposed research to the class. The 
presentation will be graded based on quality and 
content (rubric will be provided). At the end of the 
presentations, the class will vote for one or two 
projects to be “funded” by their “funding agency”. 
Students may not vote for their own proposals.  


Lab Attendance & Assignments Policy 
Students are expected to attend all lab meetings ​synchronously​ and participate using video and 
audio on Zoom calls. However, if you need special arrangements, contact both TFs as least a week 
in advance. Assignments should be turned in ​by their deadlines​ regardless of attendance. 

Zoom Tips & Tricks 

● Setting up a ​profile picture!​ (highly recommended) 
● Setting up a ​virtual background​! (up to you) 
● Pressing the space bar will temporarily toggle mute-status 
● Check out the ​Zoom Help Center​ for additional information 

Late Work Policy 

Pre-class assignments​, ​In-class participation​, & ​In-class assignments​: ​Unexcused late work 
will not be accepted. If you miss any of these assessments or turn them in late, you won’t receive 
those points.  
Lab reports​, ​Final project​, & ​Final presentation​: If you turn in these assignments late, you will 
lose two points for each additional day it is late.  

Academic Conduct: 
Students  are  expected  to  work  independently  to  complete  all  written  assignments  unless  otherwise 
specified.  You  may  collaborate  with  your  classmates  in  brainstorming  ideas,  but  the  written  work 
must  be  your  own.  This  means  that  when  you sit down to type up your paper, you should not have 
any  conversations,  verbal  or  electronic,  with  anyone  else  in  the  class,  nor  should  you  have  anyone 
else’s  paper  in  front  of  you  while  you  are  writing.  Provide  proper  credit  to  those  who  gave  you 
ideas.  Writing  which  is  substantially  similar  in  phrasing  to  a  published  source  (e.g.  textbook, 
laboratory  manual,  or  scientific  journal)  or  another  student’s  work  constitutes plagiarism.  Students 
found  guilty  of  plagiarism  may  receive  an  F  for  the  course  from  the  faculty  and may be suspended 
or  expelled by the Academic Conduct Committee. Therefore, we recommend that you complete the 
assignments  in  the  spirit  in  which  they  were  intended.  If  you  have  questions  about  whether  your 
written  work  may  be  considered  plagiarism,  speak  to  your  TF  or  the laboratory coordinator before 
you submit the assignment.