Behaviour 2015 Symposium – Animal Contests: Assessment and the Evolution of Animal Weaponry

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!

Weapon polymorphism in arthropods_front slideSee you there!