SICB Annual Meeting 2016
January 3-7, 2016
Oregon Convention Center - Portland, OR

Symposium: Neuroecology: neural mechanisms of sensory and motor processes that mediate ecologically relevant behaviors.

How do animals detect and process information, and respond appropriately? Animal behavior mediates many critical ecological processes that, in turn, have implications for the evolution of these interactions. Because the peripheral and central nervous systems ultimately control these behaviors, this symposium seeks to link the neural basis of these behaviors with how these behaviors control ecological interactions, and how specific processes (e.g., environmental and genetic constraints, ecological and evolutionary forces) operating on nervous system function might constrain or adaptively facilitate these interactions. For instance, a number of interesting processes include:

    1. Evolutionary trajectories may impose constraints on the design of the neural circuits, whereas ecological and environmental forces may elicit adaptations at shorter timescales (on the order of minutes, hours, days) leading to changes in those evolutionary trajectories.

    2. How the nervous system encodes ecologically relevant stimuli and transforms the stimuli into ecologically relevant behaviors, including behaviors and processes that mediate:

      • predator-prey interactions

      • sexual selection

      • intra- and inter-specific competition

      • communication

      • foraging

      • habitat selection

      • migration

      • biological rhythms

Over the last decade, there has been an explosion of interest in linking ecological processes with the sensorimotor mechanisms of animal behavior. Current research questions and initiatives underscore the importance of neuroecological studies. For example:

1) How will organisms respond to climate variability and change? There is an increasing need to understand and predict the impacts and consequences of climate variability and change on organismal processes, population dynamics and ecosystem structure.

2) The BRAIN initiative (brain research through advancing innovative neurotechnologies) is a “Grand Challenge” aimed at predicting how interactions between brain function and the environment produce complex behavior. From genes to neural circuits to behavior, a major goal of the BRAIN initiative is to understand how brain activity leads to perception, decision-making and ultimately action.

This symposium will bring together top researchers who are examining these processes using cutting-edge and cross disciplinary techniques, and across scales, ranging from the evolution of brain structures in natural systems to linking sensory adaptation in a community ecological context. Our goal is to promote a new synthesis and general theory of neuroecology. To this end, symposium speakers will present their ideas on the current state of research on neuroecology, their views on what are the most important issues to address in future work, and how to get there.

In concert with this interest in linking ecology and evolution with neuroscience is an increased drive for interdisciplinary research and training young scientists in interdisciplinary studies, as described by the Committee on Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research, Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (2004). Thus, a complementary oral session will occur during the meeting that will allow students (undergraduate and graduate) and postdoctorates to present their research. Through an evening social event, students and postdocs will have the ability to interact with the symposium speakers.




S1.1 Monday, Jan. 4, 08:00 ZIMMER, R.K.: Keystone species and molecules of keystone significance

S1.2 Monday, Jan. 4, 08:30 ROWE, A.H.*; ROWE, M.P.: The influence of venom-induced pain on predatory behavior in the southern grasshopper mouse Onychomys torridus

S1.3 Monday, Jan. 4, 09:00 FOX, Jessica L.*; MURELI, Shwetha; KATHMAN, Nicholas D.; BAI, Brice: New roles for fly mechanosensors

S1.4 Monday, Jan. 4, 10:00 HOKE, K.L.*; FISCHER, E.K.; GHALAMBOR, C.K.; STYNOSKI, J.L.: Plasticity, homeostasis, and evolution across timescales

S1.5 Monday, Jan. 4, 10:30 NEVITT, Gaby *; HOOVER, Brian; EDWARDS, Scott: The neuroecology of avian chemical signaling: Exploring potential molecular markers of self / non-self recognition in a seabird model

S1.6 Monday, Jan. 4, 11:00 NIVEN, J.E.; NIVEN, Jeremy: Voltage-gated potassium channels improve the energy efficiency of signalling in fly photoreceptors

S1.7 Monday, Jan. 4, 11:30 MARKHAM, Michael R. *; MALTBY, Rosalie; RIEDMANN, Hiliary L; SINNETT, Philip M.; BAN, Yue: Energetic adaptations and constraints in active sensory and communication signals

S1.8 Monday, Jan. 4, 13:30 RIFFELL, J.A.*; CLIFFORD, M.; LAHONDÈRE, C.; WOLFF, G.: Neurecology and the olfactory basis of plant-pollinator interactions

S1.9 Monday, Jan. 4, 14:00 SUVER, M.P.*; DICKINSON, M.H.: Sensory integration by descending interneurons in the flying fruit fly.

S1.10 Monday, Jan. 4, 14:30 CODDINGTON, Emma J: Love in the time of Cortisol: Hormones mediate context-appropriate behaviors by modulating sensorimotor integration on multiple timescales

S1.11 Monday, Jan. 4, 15:00 TER HOFSTEDE, Hannah M*; SCHöNEICH, Stefan; ROBILLARD, Tony; HEDWIG, Berthold: Evolution of a Communication System by Sensory Exploitation of Startle Behavior