Student’s view - Behavioural Biology
- In the footsteps of Niko Tinbergen
In the second year of my bachelors, I got the opportunity to study the pecking behaviour of sea gull chicks in the Behavioural Biology group of the IBL. We would try to reproduce the famous experiments done by Niko Tinbergen. This turned out to be a great experience!
Together with four other students and our professor Carel ten Cate we went to Schiermonnikoog. We were fully prepared to test as many chicks as we needed, and that worked out great for us. There were enough sea gulls and the testing went smoothly. Also the analyses and statistical tests worked out well and our data were published soon after in a leading journal in the field: Animal Behaviour. To be a co-author in just the second year of your study is not something you do every day.
In the weeks I spent on this research I discovered that Behavioural Biology is really were my interests are. Not only is it amazing to learn how animals act and interact, it is also the joy of being able to do research with living animals and trying to understand them. So all in all it was one of the best experiences of my study so far!