Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Neuroethology: Behavior, Evolution & Neurobiology (GRS)
Gordon-Kenan Research Seminar

Neuroethology 2050


August 9-10, 2008


Magdalen College
Oxford, United Kingdom


Zoe R. Donaldson, Emily Baird & Norbert Boeddeker

Meeting Description

The two-day GRS provides a unique opportunity for young researchers to discuss current and future issues in the field. Neuroethology is the study of the neural basis of naturally occurring animal behavior. Within the larger discipline of neuroscience it seeks to understand biodiversity from the perspective of neural systems and behavior. This seminar is a chance for the next generation of scientists to imagine what the field will look like in the year 2050.

The theme “Neuroethology 2050” seeks to generate discussion amongst students and postdoctoral researchers, not only of their current research, but also on methodological and conceptual developments that will be required to advance our understanding of the neural basis of natural behavior. Participants will have the chance to build informal networks with their peers that may lead to a lifetime of collaboration and scientific achievement. Discussions will include - but by no means be limited to - the application of new techniques for monitoring animal behavior under natural conditions, the role of functional brain imaging in neuroethology, the relationship of gene expression to neural circuits, and new developments in modeling, including robotics. Contributions will be in the form of short talks or posters.

The seminar is held in Oxford on August 9-10, 2008, the weekend prior to the Gordon Research Conference “Neuroethology: Behavior, Evolution, and Neurobiology” (August 10-15, 2008). Students and post-docs who are accepted to “Neuroethology 2050” will be accepted into the GRC provided that they apply to both.

Related Meeting

This GRS was held in conjunction with the "Neuroethology: Behavior, Evolution & Neurobiology" Gordon Research Conference (GRC). Refer to the associated GRC program page for more information.


Meeting Program

2:00 pm - 9:00 pmArrival and Check-in
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:15 pm - 7:30 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff and Chair's Remarks
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm Neuroethology: Past and Present
Discussion Leader: Bill Kristan (University of California, San Diego)
7:30 pm - 7:55 pm Keynote Address: Catherine E. Carr (University of Maryland, Baltimore)
"Back in my day… How will neuroethology’s past shape its future?"
7:55 pm - 8:00 pm Discussion
8:00 pm - 9:20 pmShaping Neuroethology Research During Career Beginnings
8:00 pm - 8:15 pm Martin How (Australian National University, Canberra, Australia)
"Courtship herding in the fiddler crab Uca elegans: Tracking control system"
8:15 pm - 8:20 pm Discussion
8:20 pm - 8:35 pmStefan Pulver (Brandeis University, Boston, MA)
"Electrophysiological characterization of light and heat activated methods for acutely manipulating neuronal excitability in Drosophila melanogaster"
8:35 pm - 8:40 pm Discussion
8:40 pm - 8:55 pm Gesa Feenders (Newcastle University, United Kingdom)
"A motor theory for the origin of vocal learning"
8:55 pm - 9:00 pm Discussion
9:00 pm - 9:15 pm Theo Mota (University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France)
"Integrative study of colour perception and learning in the honeybee Apis mellifera"
9:15 pm - 9:20 pm Discussion
9:20 pm - 9:30 pm Informal discussion and wrap up
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pm Neuroethology’s Future
Discussion Leaders: Jochen Zeil (Australian National University, Canberra, Australia)
Kathy French (University of California, San Diego)
9:00 am - 9:50 am Integrative Approaches in Neuroethology: A Look to the Future
9:00 am - 9:20 amAndrew Barron (Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)
"Bees on crack"
9:20 am - 9:25 am Discussion
9:25 am - 9:45 amCatharine Rankin (University of British Columbia)
"Plasticity: From behavior to neural circuits to networks of genes and back again"
9:45 am - 9:50 am Discussion
9:50 am - 10:10 am Coffee Break
10:10 am - 11:30 am Advances in Neuroethology: Where are we Heading?
Selected Student Presentations
10:10 am - 10:25 am Stephen Shepherd (Duke University, Durham, NC)
"Parietal "mIrror neurons" reflect both deployed and observed attention"
10:25 am - 10:30 am Discussion
10:30 am - 10:45 am Andrew George (University of Texas, Austin)
"Calcium-Mediated Change in Neural Intrinsic Excitability in Weakly Electric Fish, Apteronotus leptorhynchus and Eigenmannia virescens"
10:45 am - 10:50 am Discussion
10:50 am - 11:05 am Anna Greenwood (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA)
"What can genetics teach us about the evolution of the nervous system?"
11:50 am - 11:10 am Discussion
11:10 am - 11:25 am Jeff Riffel (University of Arizona, Tucson)
"Olfactory behavior and neural processing of complex odor mixtures in the moth, Manduca sexta"
11:25 am - 11:30 am Discussion
11:30 am - 12:00 pm Directed Questions and Wrap up Discussion: What are Future Challenges and Promises of Neuroethology?
11:30 am - 11:35 am Seth Ament (Univeristy of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
"What will neuroethology’s place in science be in 2050?"
11:35 am - 11:45 am Discussion
11:45 am - 11:50 am Helga Groll (University of Southampton, United Kingdom)
"What aren’t we going to predict?"
11:50 am - 12:00 pm Discussion
12:00 pm - 12:30 pmBusiness Meeting
(Discuss request for a subsequent GRS; Nominations for the next Student/Post-doc Vice Chair(s) to work with GRC Chair (serving as mentor); Fill out Evaluation Forms)
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pmGordon Research Seminar ends. For those attending the associated Gordon Research Conference, please check in at the GRC Office beginning at 4:00 pm.
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