Behaviour is an essential theme in the scientific study of animals and has been one of the fastest growing fields in biology over the last 15 years. Studying how animals behave involves answering the ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions following a series of observations or experiments.
In the Department of Zoology we study the behaviour of a wide range of species from parasites and invertebrates, to fish, frogs, reptiles, birds and mammals (including marine mammals). We also look at a range of questions, for example, how do they communicate, how do they find mates, how do they establish territories, how do they find food and how do neural mechanisms and hormones control their behaviour.
At Otago behaviour is studied under two sub-themes – Behavioural Ecology and Neurobiology.