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2013 ABS Annual Meeting - the 50th Anniversary of the Animal Behavior Society

The historic 50th Anniversary of the Animal Behavior Society will be marked by a rich 5 day conference at the University of Colorado Boulder with strong representation from North American, South American and European researchers. CU-Boulder, the flagship university in Colorado, has a dynamic community of scholars on one of the most spectacular & scenic college campuses in the country.

Location: University of Colorado-Boulder
When: 28 July – 1 August

Conference Website:

Registration & Accommodation booking is now open!

Registration Housing/Accommodation

Abstract Submission opens on 1 April 2013. Deadline for abstract submission is 30 April 2013

Abstract Submissions


Registration Fees
  Early Early
(plus cons workshop)
Late Late (plus con workshop)

Non-Member $475 $500 $575 $600
Member $325 $350 $425 $450
Member Student $150 $160 $200 $210
Developing Nations* $100 N/A $100 N/A
(Includes Coonservation Workshop)
Developing Nations Student*   $50 N/A $100 N/A
(Includes Coonservation Workshop)

Late Registration begins after April 15th
*Developing country attendees are those currently enrolled or working at an institution in the developing world. This does NOT include persons currently working or enrolled in institutions in the USA, Canada or other developed countries, regardless of country of origin.

The 2013 meeting has many exciting symposia, plenary speakers, workshops and special events.

Keynote and plenary speakers include: Barbara Smuts, Elizabeth Adkins-Regan, Donald Dewsbury, Patricia Gowaty, and Gene Robinson.

50th Anniversary Plenary Symposium

Organizer: Lee Drickamer

Founded in 1964, the Animal Behavior Society is now entering its 50th year of promoting and supporting research in this broad field. Changing political climates and funding models now challenge all researchers, and justification of the importance of one’s approach and field are important tools for successful grant writing, and for predicting areas where impact will be felt in the future. This plenary symposium offers perspectives on the history of our society and field, and developing areas of importance. Speakers include Donald Dewsbury, Elizabeth Adkins-Regan and Patricia Gowaty

President’s symposium

Social evolution: William D. Hamilton’s 50-year legacy Organizers: Joan Strassmann & David Queller

At this 50th anniversary of the ABS we will mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of WD Hamilton’s seminal contributions: The genetical evolution of social behavior (I & II, 1964). This symposium will focus on how Hamilton’s field-changing insights have affected research in diverse areas (from sexual selection to eusociality), and across taxa (from primates to microbes). This two-day symposium will be the basis of a special issue of Animal Behavior. Confirmed speakers include: Marlene Zuk, Elizabeth Tibbetts, Joan Strassmann, David Queller, Rob Page, Kevin Foster, Bernard Crespi, Koos Boomsma, Sarah Brosnan, and Maydianne Andrade

Symposium: Trends in Conservation Behavior

Organizers: Esteban Fernandez-Juricic & Bruce A. Schulte

Conservation behavior is the application of knowledge of animal behavior to solve wildlife conservation problems. This discipline has made important empirical contributions to multiple conservation aspects, from captive breeding to managing interactions between humans and wildlife. This symposium will address the future of conservation behavior in the next decade. Early and mid-career researchers from academia and environmental agencies will address the novel conceptual frameworks that apply behavior to conservation biology and the new methodological tools used to solve challenging conservation problems that involve animal behavior. One of the goals of the symposium is to develop a list of basic behavioral problems that need more research that would facilitate their application to wildlife management problems (e.g., habituation). Confirmed speakers include: Brad Blackwell, Daniel Blumstein, Steven Cooke, Connie O’Connor, Andy Sih, and Craig Willis.

Symposium: Effects of plasticity and individual variation in sensory biology on sexual selection

Organizers: Jeffrey Lucas & Esteban Fernández-Juricic

Many signalers convey information about their quality in mating displays. While much is known about how signalers vary in terms of signaling, individual variation in detection of these signals is relatively unexplored. This is a critical issue in communication, particularly with respect to the role of communication in mating contexts, because individual variation in signal processing can generate variability in signal content from the sender’s perspective. For example, seasonal patterns in signal processing provide one source of individual variation if individuals vary in the extent and timing of seasonal changes in sensory physiology. Thus the theoretical understanding of phenomena such as honest signaling, sensory drive, and assortative mating, may need to be re-evaluated in light of individual variation in signal processing. This half-day symposium will address these issues over a diversity of taxonomic groups (birds, fish) and focusing on a diversity of sensory modes (auditory, visual, electrical). Confirmed speakers include Philip Stoddard, Joseph Sisneros, Megan Gall, Esteban Fernández-Juricic and Jeffrey Lucas.


Organizer: Joan Strassmann

Poster symposia are clusters of posters curated by the symposium organizer. Any poster presenter with research relevant to a symposium theme can enter their poster for consideration for inclusion in the symposium by selecting the relevant subject category when their abstract is submitted. Poster symposia include: Applied Animal Behavior Poster Symposium. Organizer: Crista Coppola; President’s Poster Symposium: ‘Social Evolution: Hamilton’s 50 year legacy’.

Special events and workshops at the 2013 Meeting

Applied Animal Behavior Public Day

< Creating Quality Lives for Dogs and Cats through the Science of Animal Behavior.
Sunday July 28
Organizer: Suzanne Hetts

This event is free and open to the public. Confirmed speakers include: Patricia McConnell, Marc Bekoff, Pam Reid, Suzanne Hetts, Daniel Q. Estep, and Julie Hecht.

Conservation Behavior Workshop

Sunday July 28
Organizers: Bruce Schulte & Misty McPhee

This workshop will include several speakers/groups who will present specific problems with the conservation of particular threatened or endangered species, and how a behavioral approach is likely to facilitate solutions. Information about the problem and system will be disseminated to workshop participants prior to the meeting. After the presentations at the workshop, the presenters and participants will break out into workgroups that will focus on problem-solving. This workshop has the potential to initiate collaborations on the featured problems. This workshop will incur a moderate additional registration fee for most attendees.

Undergraduate Luncheon & Reception

Monday July 29
Organizer: Dan Howard

The reception provides a networking platform for undergraduate students attending ABS, and an opportunity for ABS faculty members to introduce their programs to potential graduate school applicants. The event includes lunch for undergraduate attendees. The ABS Diversity Committee has developed this event as part of an on-going effort to broaden participation of under-represented groups within the field of Animal Behavior, with an emphasis on translating the diverse demographics evident at the undergraduate level to the graduate and professional levels in the field. Students or faculty who wish to participate in this luncheon should contact Dan Howard (

Diversity committee panel/workshop

How social media tools can enhance your science, your career, and promote diversity
Monday July 29
Organizer: Danielle Lee

Web 2.0 social media tools provide new channels for promoting your science and career. It can be an especially important tool for raising professional profiles of women and minority scientists. Panelists will describe how they use online tools to discuss science, engage the public, publicize accomplishments, as well as engage broader audiences in science. Speakers include Danielle Lee, Alberto I. Roca, and Samuel Diaz-Munoz.

ABS Film Festival

Monday July 29 & Tuesday July 30
Organizer: Mike Noonan

Now in its 30th year, the ABS Film Festival features outstanding film that portray important concepts in animal behavior research and education. Categories include both amateur (non-commercial) and professional (commercial) films produced in the preceding five years. In addition, ABS members are encouraged to bring short video clips of their own to share in an informal film event (

ABS 5K Fun Run

Thursday Aug 1
Organizer: Caitlin Gabor

Meeting registrants or accompanying guests are invited to participate in this 6th annual recreational walk/run/sprint. Sign-up will occur at the conference. A nominal registration fee will be charged, proceeds are donated to support ABS Student Research Grants.

Animal Behavior Public Day

Friday August 2 (post-conference) 9 am to noon, University of Colorado Museum of Natural History
Organizer: Emilie Snell-Rood

The ‘Outreach’ subcommittee of the ABS-Education committee has organized a daytime event to introduce animal behavior research to the public through a combination of engaging activities and hands-on exhibits. This event has been held for the past several years and is well received by local communities -- in 2011, 50 scientists from 18 labs shared their research with over 550 attendees. This year the event will be hosted by the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History. Please contact Emilie Snell-Rood ( if your lab is interested in participating.