Professor Raghavendra Gadagkar


5724 Views HowtoDesignExperiments in Animal Behaviour ?

Those of us who study animal behaviour are very conscious of whether or not we can gain any reasonable understanding of the behaviour of the animals,given that we are inevitably seeing the animals from a human point of view. Some philosophers have cautioned against being too optimistic in this regard. For example,the Greek philosopher Heraclitus (ca. 535 – 475 BCE) says “Nature loves to hide”. But other philosophers give us hope. Sir Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626) says “Nature does not unveil its secrets except under the torture of experiments”. Thus it is experiments that give us hopes that we can indeed understand animal behaviour. However designing experiments to gain an entry into the minds of animals – understanding how and why they do what they do – is by no means easy. In this talk I will illustrate this difficulty and how to overcome it by describing some classic experiments in animal behaviour. I will also take the liberty of describing some recent experiments performed by my students and myself. By doing so I will show that interesting experiments in animal behaviour can be performed by almost anyone who is curious and committed and without necessarily having access to a sophisticated laboratory.

Professor Raghavendra Gadagkar

Centre for Ecological Sciences and Centre for Contemporary StudiesIndian Institute of Science ,Bangalore -560012,India

Obtained B.Sc (Hons) and M.Sc. in Zoology from Bangalore University and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Indian Institute of Science,Bangalore,India. During the past 35 years he has established an active school of research in the area of Animal Behaviour,Ecology and Evolution. The origin and evolution of cooperation in animals,especially in social insects,such as ants,bees and wasps,is a major goal of his research. By identifying and utilizing crucial elements in India’s biodiversity,he has added a special Indian flavour to his research.


Related Topics


Contact Us:


Powered by e-content development and Learning innovation centre, Savitribai Phule Pune University
2017 © All rights reserved. Disclaimer