SICB Annual Meeting 2013
January 3-7, 2013
San Francisco, CA

Symposium: When Predators Attack: Sensing and Motion in Predator-Prey Interactions

Predation is a fundamental interaction between organisms. It plays an important role in shaping community structure and has clear consequences for individual fitness, as it affects growth, reproductive output and survival. Despite a vast body of research on the behavioral ecology and population dynamics of predator-prey systems, our understanding of the underlying mechanisms that determine the outcome of each interaction remains limited. These mechanisms involve the mechanical performance (e.g., speed, agility, endurance, strength) and sensory capabilities (e.g. rapid, accurate localization and prediction) of both predator and prey. However, the complexity of motor and sensory systems challenges our ability to understand the major factors that determine the outcome of predator-prey interactions. As a consequence, the governing principles of this important biological interaction are largely unknown.

Through the use of cutting-edge techniques, a number of investigators have only recently made this a tractable area of research. The goal of this symposium is to highlight recent findings that are advancing our understanding of the sensory-motor dynamics that govern predator-prey interactions. We hope that this symposium will expose members of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology to an exciting frontier of cross-disciplinary research.

Sponsors: The National Science Foundation, The Company of Biologists, Biological Bulletin and SICB Divisions: Animal Behavior, Comparative Biomechanics, Vertebrate Morphology, Neurobiology and Ecology & Evolution.


  • Matt McHenry, Department of Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, University of California, Irvine
  • Stacey Combes, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University


S1-1.0 Friday, Jan. 4, 08:10 MCHENRY, M; COMBES, S: Symposium Introduction


S1-1.2 Friday, Jan. 4, 09:00 BARBER, Jesse/R*; KAWAHARA, Akito/Y: Anti-bat behavioral strategies and evolutionary routes in the escalation of the bat-moth arms race

S1-1.3 Friday, Jan. 4, 09:20 DERBY, Charles: The role of chemicals in interactions between inking molluscs and their predators

S1-1.4 Friday, Jan. 4, 09:40 LEONARDO, A: Guidance laws underlying prey capture in the dragonfly

S1-2.1 Friday, Jan. 4, 10:20 DOMENICI, P: Escape responses in fishes

S1-2.2 Friday, Jan. 4, 11:00 COMBES, SA*; IWASAKI, JM; PANDIT, MM; SWITZER, CM; WEILAND, TJ: The role of identity in predator-prey interactions: Are mechanics and strategy one-size-fits-all or tailored to each adversary?

S1-2.3 Friday, Jan. 4, 11:20 HOLZMAN, Roi: Suction feeding mechanics and hydrodynamics in fishes

S1-2.4 Friday, Jan. 4, 11:40 PATEK, S. N.*; DEVRIES, M. S.; MURPHY, E.A.K.: What is fast?

S1-3.1 Friday, Jan. 4, 13:20 PATTERSON, B.W.; ABRAHAM, A.; MCLEAN, D.; PATANKAR, N.A.; MACIVER, M.A.*: Vision versus electrosense: Mechanics and sensing in prey capture behavior in larval zebrafish compared to electric knifefish

S1-3.2 Friday, Jan. 4, 14:00 STEWART, WJ*; NAIR, AM; MCHENRY, MJ: The sensory cues for predator evasion in fish

S1-3.3 Friday, Jan. 4, 14:20 ROBINSON, H.E.*; KOEHL, M.A.R.: Sessile predators and motile prey: the effects of turbulence and wavy flow on benthic predator-prey interactions

S1-3.4 Friday, Jan. 4, 14:40 KIøRBOE, Thomas: Attack or attacked: The sensory and fluid mechanical constraints of copepod predator-prey interactions

Evening Social