UCLA Students Spend Three Weeks Conducting Research Projects in Kenya
by Dan Blumstein and Tom Smith, Professors, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA
From October 12 through November 1, 2007, a group of 15 undergraduate students from the University of California, Los Angeles traveled to Kenya to work and learn at the Mpala Research Centre. Students took two classes where they worked in groups of three on student-generated projects. For Professor Dan Blumstein's field behavioral ecology class, projects included a study of whether dik-diks respond to the sounds of their predators, whether dik-diks respond to the sounds of go-away birds (a species described as a sentinel of the savannah), whether lizards respond to hyrax alarm calls and the vocalizations of their predators, how birds manage predation risk while singing, and how different sized seed-eating birds trade off the indirect risks of distance from cover with the direct risk of a person sitting and watching them at a set of novel feeding stations.
Students in Professor Tom Smith's tropical field ecology class focused on five projects. These included examining patterns of beta diversity along habitat gradients, effects of mammalian herbivory on avian and invertebrate communities, morphological responses to herbirvory on Acacia millifera, choice experiments in dung beetles, and habitat selection and ecophysiology of agamid lizards.
Published: Tuesday, January 01, 2008