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Ken Yasukawa

[Ken Yasukawa]Ken Yasukawa

Professor of Biology
Office: Center for the Sciences Room 335
Phone: 608 363-2314


Ken Yasukawa is a professor in the Biology Department and assistant coach of the varsity volleyball team at Beloit College.  He is a behavioral ecologist with research interests in avian mating systems, sexual selection, territoriality, vocal and visual communication, parental care, and brood parasitism.  He is also interested in science education, having served on the Education Committee of the Animal Behavior Society and edited two sets of laboratory and field exercises in Animal Behavior.  He teaches Zoology, Biometrics, Evolution, Population Biology, and Animal Behavior, and topics courses in game theory, and behavioral ecology.  Ken has worked with students on more than 80 research projects, presented 11 posters and papers with student co-authors at meetings of professional societies, and published 13 articles with student co-authors in peer reviewed journals.  He received the Underkofler Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from the Alliant Corporation, and the Janet Andersen Award for Research with Undergraduates from the Midstates Consortium for Science and Mathematics.  He has served on editorial boards of Animal Behaviour, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Auk, and Current Ornithology, as Editor of the Journal of Field Ornithology, and as President of the Animal Behavior Society.  He is currently editing a three-volume series on Animal Behavior to be published by Praeger Publishers in 2013.    


  • State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1967–1971, B.S. Biology, 1971
  • State University of New York at Binghamton, 1971–1972, Computer Science
  • Indiana University, Bloomington, 1972–1977, M.A. Zoology, 1975; Ph.D. Zoology, 1977

Positions Held

  • Post-doctoral Fellow, The Rockefeller University, Field Research Center, 1977–1980
  • Assistant Professor, Beloit College, Department of Biology, 1980–1986
  • Associate Professor, Beloit College, Department of Biology, 1986–1990
  • Professor, Beloit College, Department of Biology, 1990–present
  • Visiting Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Zoology, 1991–2009
  • Honorary Fellow, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Zoology, 2009–present
  • Editor, Journal of Field Ornithology, 1990–1995
  • President, Animal Behavior Society, 2004–2005


[A fledgling Red-winged Blackbird.]
A fledgling Red-winged Blackbird.

[Two male Red-winged Blackbirds]
Two male Red-winged Blackbirds engaged in
"Bill-up Display" near a territory boundary.

[Red-winged Blackbird attacks]
A male Red-winged Blackbird attacks Jen Nerat '94 as she weighs a nestling.