SICB Annual Meeting 2012
January 3-7, 2012
Charleston, SC

Symposium: Novel methods for the analysis of animal movement: spatial and temporal structure across scale


Many branches of biology, ranging from ecology to neuroscience, share the need for accurate measurements of motion. Advances in computer vision, satellite tracking, radar and other technologies are providing large volumes of data on the movements of organisms over a broad range of scales, from bacteria foraging in a drop of pond water to whales migrating across oceans. A central challenge for all such projects is the need to develop techniques for improving the spatial and temporal resolution of measurements as well as mathematical approaches for visualizing and analyzing large data sets. In the past, many of the computational approaches have been specific to the organism studied, the medium in which it moves, the degrees of freedom being measured, and the range of motion. This symposium will emphasize computational tools for exploring animal movement across scales and taxa. Speakers will also cover considerable phylogenetic diversity such as bacteria, nematodes, insects, fishes, birds, and mammals and cover a broad range of topics such as behavioral genetics, biomechanics, ecology, functional morphology, and neuroethology.



  • Douglas L. Altshuler, Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia
  • Michael H. Dickinson, Department of Biology, University of Washington

Example of two hummingbirds engaged in a competitive interaction in a flight arena (1.5 m x 1.5 m x 3.0 m). The 3D position and orientation of each bird are estimated every 5 ms, although the tracking results are presented here every 25 ms for visual clarity. The head orientations are indicated by spheres. The inset images were simultaneously captured from four cameras as the birds engaged in close maneuvering at exactly six second into the tracking sequence (* on tracks). The overlaid orange circles and lines are the values extracted by the tracking system for this particular frame reprojected onto the original images.


S1-1.1 Wednesday, Jan. 4, 08:00 PEYRIéRAS, Nadine: A comparative analysis of gastrulation in Deuterostomians using digital embryos

S1-1.2 Wednesday, Jan. 4, 08:30 SAMUEL, Aravi*; GERSHOW, Marc; KANE, Elizabeth; KLEIN, Mason; LUO, Linjiao; AFONSO, Bruno; VONNER, Ashley: How Drosophila larvae navigate

S1-1.3 Wednesday, Jan. 4, 09:00 ROBIE, Alice A.; KABRA, Mayank; BRANSON, Steven; HIROKAWA, Jonathan; KORFF, Wyatt L.; BRANSON, Kristin*: Making Automated Tracking and Behavior Analysis High Throughput in Practice

S1-1.4 Wednesday, Jan. 4, 10:00 BERMAN, Gordon J*; BIALEK, William; SHAEVITZ, Joshua W: A data-driven methodology for analyzing the behavior of terrestrial fruit flies

S1-1.5 Wednesday, Jan. 4, 10:30 MENDES, César S.; BARTOS, Imre; AKAY, Turgay; MARKA, Szabolcs ; MANN, Richard S.*: Using frustrated total internal reflection to analyze insect walking

S1-1.6 Wednesday, Jan. 4, 11:00 CENSI, Andrea*; STRAW, Andrew D. ; SAYAMAN, Ros; MURRAY, Richard M.; DICKINSON, Michael H.: Dimensionality reduction to understand sensory influences on turning in large scale behavior in Drosophila

S1-1.7 Wednesday, Jan. 4, 11:30 DICKINSON, M.*; ZABALA, F.; POLIDORA, P.; ROBIE, A.; BRANSON, K.; PERONA, P.: Detecting motion while moving: a simple visual reflex revealed by animal-robot interactions

S1-2.1 Wednesday, Jan. 4, 13:00 GREENWOOD, A.K.*; WARK, A.R.; PEICHEL, C.L.: Mechanisms underlying the evolution of schooling behavior in sticklebacks

S1-2.2 Wednesday, Jan. 4, 13:30 ALTSHULER, D.L.*; SEGRE, P.S.; STRAW, A.D.: Computational analysis of hummingbird flight

S1-2.3 Wednesday, Jan. 4, 14:00 CHAPMAN, J.W.: Recent insights from entomological radar studies of high-altitude insect migration

S1-2.4 Wednesday, Jan. 4, 14:30 GOLDBOGEN, Jeremy: Using high-resolution acoustic tags to determine the kinematics and maneuverability of the world's largest whales.