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CABI 2011 Conference @ The Roosevelt House


900-930 Registration (advanced online registration is required)

9:30 -9:40 Vita C. Rabinowitz (Hunter College Provost) Welcome

9:40-9:45 Short film about the CABI labs

Workshop I (9:45-12:00 noon): New approaches for studying animal behavior

Chair: Darcy Kelley, Columbia University


Speakers/PanelistsDarcy Kelley (Columbia University), Naomi Pierce (Harvard University), Jim Goodson (Indiana University), Ofer Tchernichovski (CUNY, Hunter College), Jason Munshi-South (CUNY, Brooklyn College). Dan McCloskey (CUNY, CSI).

Synopses: Workshop will focus on new techniques for measuring animal behavior at multiple time scales within and across individuals. We will discuss combining such approaches with gene manipulation and genomic technologies for exploring proximate and ultimate mechanisms of social behavior.

9:45-9:50 Introduction to the workshop, Darcy Kelly (Columbia University)

9:50-10:05 Dan McLoskey (CSI, CUNY), Living Eusocial: RFID-based tracking of social and cooperative behavior in laboratory-housed naked mole-rats

10:05-10:20 Ofer Tchernchovski (Hunter College, CUNY), Analysis of developmental song learning: from phonology to cultural evolution

10:20-10:35 Jason Munshi-South (Baruch College, CUNY), Animal behavior and evolution in the Anthropocene: white-footed mice as a model for adaptation to urban environments


10:35-10:55 Breakfast


10:55-11:25 Special lecture: Jim Goodson (Indiana University), Neuroendocrine Mechanisms of Social Group Size Evolution in Birds

11:25-12:00 Special lecture: Naomi Pierce & Jesse Weber (Harvard University) Behavioral genomics:

11:25-11:35 Introduction to behavioral genomics (Naomi)

11:35-12:00 Digging for the evolutionary and genetic basis of burrowing differences in deer mice (Jesse)

12:00-12:10 Round table discussion


12:10-1:00 Poster session I & lunch



Workshop II (1-3pm): From self to species: Mechanisms of recognition systems

Chair: Peter Moller, Hunter College

Speakers/PanelistsDiana Reiss (CUNY, Hunter College), Paul Forlano (CUNY, Brooklyn College), Chris Braun (CUNY, Hunter College), Sarah Woolley (Columbia),  Mark Hauber(CUNY, Hunter College).

Synopses: Workshop will focus on behavioral and cognitive aspects of recognition systems, ranging from sensory signals for species recognition to cognitive complexity and mirror-based self-recognition.

1:00-1:05 Introduction, Peter Moller (Hunter College, CUNY)

1:05-1:20 Sarah M.N . Wooley (Columbia), Effects of species identity and early experience on vocal communication

1:20-1:35 Chris Braun (Hunter College, CUNY), Meaning and Content in Electrical Signaling by Pulse Gymnotiform Fishes

1:35-1:50 Paul Forlano (Brooklyn College, CUNY), Neurochemical and neuroanatomical substrates underlying auditory-driven social behavior in a vocal fish


1:50-2:00 a very short break


2:00-2:25 Special lecture: Mark Hauber (Hunter College, CUNY), Recognizing friends and enemies: the diverse cases of avian brood parasitism.

2:25-250 Special lecture: Diana Reiss (Hunter College, CUNY), Reflections of animal minds

250-3:05 Round table discussion


3:05-3:40 Coffee Break


Workshop III (3:40-5:30pm): How animal communication relates to music, culture & speech,

Chair: David Lahti, Queens College

Speakers/PanelistsDavid Huron (Ohio State University), Stefano Ghirlanda (Visiting Professor, Brooklyn College), Darcy Kelley (Columbia University),  David Lahti (CUNY Queens College) & David Rothenberg.

Synopses: Workshop will focus on the biological foundation of culture and music using animal models and insights from ethology.


3:40-3:45 Introduction, David Lahti (Queens College)

3:45-4:00 Darcy Kelly (Columbia University) Musical intervals and the evolution of frog songs

4:00-4:15 Stefano Ghirlanda (Visiting Professor, Brooklyn College, CUNY) Communication out of equilibrium

4:15-4:30 David Lahti (Queens College, CUNY) How bird song has influenced human music


4:30-4:40 very short break


4:40-5:10 Special lecture: David Huron (Ohio State University) Signals, Cues, and Music: At the Intersection of Art and Ethology

5:10-5:30 Discussion


530-615 Poster session II, fruits & refreshments


Evening session (615-7:40pm)

Chair: Diana Reiss, Hunter College

Keynote lecture: Molly Cummings (U. Texas);  David Rothenberg (NJ Tech): A demonstration of musicality in whale & bird vocalization; Round table discussion.

615-620 Introduction, Diana Reiss

6:20-7:10 Keynote lecture: Molly Cummings (U. Texas), The dynamic neural mechanisms of mate preference behavior - a candidate gene approach with poeciliid fishes

7:10-7:35 David Rothenberg: The whale & the nightingale: convergent musical evolution?

7:35-7:40 Closing remarks (Ofer Tchernichovski)


Acknowledgments: This conference has been made possible by funds from CUNY Central Research & from the Hunter College Provost