Animal behaviour, as a discipline, has undergone several key transitions over the last 25 years, growing in both depth and breadth. Key advances have been made in behavioural ecology and socio-biology, in the development of studies integrating proximate and ultimate causation, in the integration of laboratory and field work, and in advances in theoretical work in areas such as sexual selection, foraging and life-history traits. Thus it is appropriate to relate the individual stories of those who have had significant impacts on the field as it is known today. This book is a collection of autobiographies from 21 individuals that have been peer selected, and have provided unique and important contributions to the field in the past 25 years.
1. Understanding ourselves Richard D. Alexander; 2. Motherhood, methods, and monkeys: an intertwined professional and personal life Jeanne Altmann; 3. Coming together Patrick Bateson; 4. My life and hard times Jerram L. Brown; 5. Individuals, societies and populations Tim Clutton-Brock; 6. Birds, butterflies and behavioural ecology Nicholas B. Davies; 7. King Solomon's herring gulls world Marian Stamp Dawkins; 8. Growing up in ethology Richard Dawkins; 9. A passion for primates Frans B. M. de Waal; 10. Taking my cues from nature's clues Stephen T. Emlenl; 11. A most unlikely animal behaviorist Bennett G. Galef; 12. Watcher: the development of an evolutionary biologist Patricia Adair Gowaty; 13. Myths, monkeys, and motherhood: a compromising life Sarah Blaffer Hardy; 14. Luck, chance and choice John R. Krebs; 15. My life with birds Gordon H. Orians; 16. Reflections before dusk Geoff A. Parker; 17. An improbable path Michael J. Ryan; 18. Birds, babies, and behaving Meredith J. West; 19. A brief just-so story of my life (a few of the reminiscences that are fit to print) Mary Jane West-Eberhard; 20. A bird in the hand John C. Wingfield; 21. Living with birds and conservation Amotz Zahavi.
Lee C. Drickamer is Regents' Professor of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University.
It is a fascinating collection of essays by a group who have all made (and many continue to make) significant contributions to this interdisciplinary field. I really enjoyed this book and would encourage anyone who wants a historical perspective on the field to read it. It would make a great starting point for a graduate seminar that traces the history of the development of major ideas in animal behavior and behavioral ecology since the 1960s. Daniel T. Blumstein, The Quarterly Review of Biology