Introduction to the symposium Physical mechanisms of behavior

January 3 – Febuary 28, 2021

Meeting Abstract

S3-1  Mon Jan 4 10:15 – 10:30  Introduction to the symposium: Physical mechanisms of behavior Green, PA*; Rico-Guevara, A; Centre for Ecology and Conservation, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Penryn, Cornwall, UK; Department of Biology and Burke Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

A central concept in organismal biology is understanding how organisms accomplish the tasks they face; that is, linking behavior with its underlying physical mechanisms including biomechanics, functional morphology, and physiology. Despite the utility of this approach and repeated calls for its broader use, studies of the physical mechanisms of behavior are rare. This may be because, for example, behaviorists have little background with the tools used in physical mechanisms research, while those studying physical mechanisms are inexperienced in linking their mechanistic understanding with broader behavioral principles. This symposium will reveal connections between behavior and physical mechanism on a diverse array of systems, helping other integrative biologists explore these links in their own research. The symposium is organized through a paired speaker structure: an expert on a given behavior will speak directly before or after an expert on the physical mechanism(s) underlying that, or a similar, behavior. Topics span a variety of essential tasks and their mechanisms, from how defensive structures function in predation avoidance, to the behavior and functional morphology of reproduction. Speakers will conduct shared question and answer sessions to help the audience better learn from and contribute to these collaborative conversations. The goal of this symposium is to leave attendees with inspiration and a toolkit for future work connecting behavior with its physical mechanisms.

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