I’m excited to have co-organised a symposium on contest assessment and animal weapons at the Behaviour 2015 meeting about to kick off this Sunday night.
Greg Holwell and I wanted to have the chance to get researchers in this field together to talk about our most recent projects and hopefully discuss some avenues for new direction and collaborations. For me it was an exciting chance to get in touch with researchers that I became aware of during my PhD days and finally get the opportunity to meet in person.
We have some great speakers lined up covering a really broad range of topics within the greater context of animal contests and the evolution of weaponry. We’ve divided speakers up roughly such that the first 1.5 sessions will be mostly those talking about weaponry, while the third session will focus more about contests and assessment theory.
If you are at Behaviour 2015 please come and join us for what will be a great symposium.
Where: Room 8 Cairns Convention Centre
When: Thursday 13th August from 11:30 to 6pm.
The last 15 mins (5:45pm) will be a discussion session, and I hope the talks we have listened to will help solve problems and spark lots of new ideas.
We’ll be tweeting with the official #behave15 hashtag! (and we might add our own symposium related one TBD)
Here is the list of our speakers (in order of appearance) with their website links where possible:
Doug Emlen (11:30) – Extreme animal weapons – the importance of duels
Erin McCullough (11:45) – Structural adaptations to diverse fighting styles
Christina Painting (me! 12pm) – Weapon polymorphism in arthropods
Glauco Machado (12:15) – Variation in weaponry over large geographical scale
Bruno Buzatto (1:30pm) – Coevolution of weapons and testes
Leilani Walker (1:45pm) – Contests & weaponry in sheet web spiders
Kevin Judge (2pm) – Evolution of weaponry in North American field crickets
Clint Kelly (2:15pm) – Effect of immune challenge on weapon performance
Devin O’Brien (2:30pm) – Stabilizing selection on weapon size in frog legged beetles
Tobin Northfield (2:45pm) – Induced defense in scorpion venom
Sophie Mowles (3pm) – Using CT scanning to investigate multimodal assessment signals
Stephen Reber (3:15pm) – Acoustic rival assessment in crocodilians
Alexandra Schnell (4pm) – Contests in giant cuttlefish
Rowan McGinley (4:15pm) – Assessment strategies in jumping spider fights
Irene Camerlink (4:30pm) – Aggressive personality & fighting
Tomasz Osiejuk (4:45pm) – Soft song & predator presence in ortolan bunting
Daniela Perez (5pm) – Handedness in fiddler crab fights
Tsuyoshi Takeuchi (5:15pm) – Erroneous courtship hypothesis
Max Ringler (5:30pm) – Acoustic ranging in poison frogs
I’m going to be talking for the first time about some of the work done on harvestmen polymorphism during my first postdoc with Greg Holwell. We found exciting patterns of weapon expression in a species of harvestmen found in wet forests in the North Island of New Zealand. More about this soon or come along and hear my talk!