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Thanks, ‘Shark Week!’: Interest in animal behavior at ‘all time high’ says Yasukawa

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

MEDIA CONTACT: Hilary Dickinson at dickinsonh@beloit.edu or 608-363-2849

“All’s Not Fair in Love – it’s War!” “Be Loved, Be Prey, Be Eaten.”

Those are some of the captivating titles under consideration for an upcoming series on animal behavior that Biology Professor Ken Yasukawa is editing this year.

Yasukawa is a behavioral ecologist and past president of the Animal Behavior Society who studies red-winged blackbirds and teaches zoology, biometrics, evolution, population biology, and animal behavior.  He is also the editor of a three-volume series on animal behavior set to be published by Praeger in 2013.

Not meant to function as an encyclopedia or textbook, the book’s intended audience is undergraduates and non-specialists such as fans of Animal Planet who are intrigued by animal behavior. Written by experts from around the globe, chapters will cover 36 topics including a history of animal behavior, hormone mechanisms, and parental behavior.

“Interest in animal behavior is at an all-time high,” said Yasukawa, referencing recent movies, TV shows and entire cable channels dedicated to animal behavior. “All interactions among individuals and between animal species involve behavior to some extent. If we are to make informed decisions about endangered species, zoos and aquariums, farm animal welfare, fishing and other forms of harvesting, climate change, etc., we need a solid grasp of animal behavior.”

Source: Dr. Yasukawa is a behavioral ecologist with research interests in avian mating systems, sexual selection, territoriality, vocal and visual communication, parental care, and brood parasitism. He holds the Mead Family Chair in the Sciences at Beloit College. In 2013, he was elected a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society. He has also served on the 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 can serve as a media resource on topics related to his research and teaching interests. A full bio and vitae are available at http://www.beloit.edu/biology/yasukawa/.