December 11th, 2014
Episode 421 of 536 episodes
Behavioural ecology is the scientific study of animal behaviour. What factors influence where and what an animal eats? Why do some animals mate for life whilst others are promiscuous? Behavioural ecologists approach questions like these using Darwin's theory of natural selection, along with ideas drawn from game theory and the economics of consumer choice. Behavioural ecology emerged as a branch of zoology in the second half of the 20th century and proponents say it revolutionized our understanding of animals in their environments. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Steve Jones, Emeritus Professor of Genetics at University College London; Rebecca Kilner, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Cambridge and John Krebs, Principal of Jesus College at the University of Oxford.