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2017
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Observing Primate Behaviour

Organizing institution
Utrecht University, Faculty of Science (UU)
Course code
H25
Course fee (incl. housing)
€ 975
Level
Advanced bachelor level

The summer course Observing Primate Behaviour focuses on getting familiar with primate observational methods by observing primate social behaviour. Through the analysis of gathered observational data, students follow the scientific cycle by investigating and presenting 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.

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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 research by observing primate social behaviour and following the scientific cycle. Through the (statistical) 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 SPSS Statistics and MatMan) to analyse the data and will present its 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) social 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 May 2017; admission depends on education level and order of application.

Tags: primates, animals, biology, zoology, ethology, welfare, observation, behaviour, research

» Download the day-to-day programme (PDF)

Starting in 55 days!
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COURSE LEADER

Prof. Dr. E.H.M. Sterck

LECTURERS

Prof. Dr. E.H.M. Sterck
L.M. van den Berg, MSc.
Dr. A.M. Schel
A. Rox, MSc. (PhD)
Dr. J. Langermans

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.

STUDY LOAD

This two-week course includes three days of observations, one day at the zoo (with assignment and tour), two days of lectures & symposium, one discussion day and lecture at BPRC, one day of data analysis (including lecture), social evening event, time to write your thesis and present your research verbally (including supervision and time for self-study). Usually we have activities planned from 09:30 - 17:00 h, however because activity locations are not always in Utrecht, you should take into account some time for travelling as well. A preliminary program can be provided on request.

FEE

• € 975 - Course + course materials + housing
• € 625 - Course + course materials

DISCOUNTS AND COMBINATIONS
» Overview of all available discounts

SCHOLARSHIPS

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

MORE INFORMATION

L.M. van den Berg
+316 2886 2785
L.M.vandenberg2@uu.nl

» Contact Utrecht Summer School

REGISTRATION

Deadline for registration: 01 June 2017