HMMs for Behavior
Data Skeptic
by Kyle Polich
4d ago
Théo Michelot has made a career out of tackling tough ecological questions using time-series data. How do scientists turn a series of GPS location observations over time into useful behavioral data? GPS tech has improved to the point that modern data sets are large and complex. In this episode, Théo takes us through his research and the application of Hidden Markov Models to complex time series data. If you have ever wondered what biologists do with data from those GPS collars you have seen on TV, this is the episode for you!  ..read more
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Bioinspired Engineering
Data Skeptic
by Kyle Polich
1w ago
Brian Taylor shares his research on magnetoreception. Animals like birds and sea turtles use magnetoreception to use the Earth’s magnetic field for navigation, but it’s not a sense that’s well understood. Brian uses animal magnetoreception to engineer new ways to navigate the globe. Even cooler, he also takes hypotheses for how magnetoreception works in animals and uses computational simulations to digitally test them. Check out this episode to hear more about Brian’s research and learn more about this little known sensory ability.  ..read more
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Modelling Evolution
Data Skeptic
by Kyle Polich
2w ago
Modeling evolutionary processes goes way beyond the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium we all learned in biology class. Natural selection comes from many sources like resources availability, mate preferences, competition. Modeling entire populations of organisms of different species is the holy grail of digital evolution. Join our discussion with evolutionary biologist and software engineer Ben Haller to learn about his work on SLiM and how it helps other biologists model population genetics over time.  ..read more
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Behavioral Genetics
Data Skeptic
by Kyle Polich
3w ago
It’s almost impossible to think about animal behavior without thinking of dogs! Our canine friends are a subspecies of wolf that has been co-evolving with us for tens of thousands of years. The transition from wolf to pet has required intense natural and artificial selection for behaviors that allow dogs to live alongside humans, but behavior is not so simple. Join us for a discussion with Dr. Jessica Hekman and learn about dog welfare, behavioral genetics, and the quest to understand the dogs in our lives.  ..read more
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Signal in the Noise
Data Skeptic
by Kyle Polich
1M ago
In this episode, we are joined by Barbara Webb and Anna Hadjitofi. Barbara runs the Insect Robotics lab at the University of Edinburgh, and Anna is a PhD student at the School of Informatics at the university. She is interested in studying and understanding the neural mechanism of the honeybee waggle dance. They join us to discuss the paper: Dynamic antennal positioning allows honeybee followers to decode the dance ..read more
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Pose Tracking
Data Skeptic
by Kyle Polich
1M ago
Many researchers and students have painstakingly labeled precise details about the body positions of the creatures they study. Can AI be used for this labeling? Of course it can! Today's episode discusses Social LEAP Estimates Animal Poses (SLEAP), a software solution to train AI to perform this tedious but important labeling work ..read more
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Modeling Group Behavior
Data Skeptic
by Kyle Polich
1M ago
Our guest in this episode is Sebastien Motsch, an assistant professor at Arizona State University, working in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Science. He works on modeling self-organized biological systems to understand how complex patterns emerge ..read more
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Advances in Data Loggers
Data Skeptic
by Kyle Polich
2M ago
Our guest in this episode is Ryan Hanscom. Ryan is a Ph.D. candidate in a joint doctoral evolution program at San Diego State University and the University of California, Riverside. He is a terrestrial ecologist with a focus on herpetology and mammalogy.  Ryan discussed how the behavior of rattlesnakes is studied in the natural world, particularly with an increase in temperature ..read more
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What You Know About Intelligence is Wrong (fixed)
Data Skeptic
by Kyle Polich
2M ago
We are joined by Hank Schlinger, a professor of psychology at California State University, Los Angeles. His research revolves around theoretical issues in psychology and behavioral analysis.  Hank establishes that words have references and questions the reference for intelligence. He discussed how intelligence can be observed in animals. He also discussed how intelligence is measured in a given context ..read more
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Animal Decision Making
Data Skeptic
by Kyle Polich
2M ago
On today’s episode, we are joined by Aimee Dunlap. Aimee is an assistant professor at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and the interim director at the Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center. Aimee discussed how animals perceive information and what they use it for. She discussed the connection between their environment and learning for decision-making. She also discussed the costs required for learning and factors that affect animal learning ..read more
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