SICB Annual Meeting 2015
January 3-7, 2015
West Palm Beach, FL

Symposium: Towards a General Framework for Predicting Animal Movement Speeds in Nature

Note: If you (student, postdoc, or faculty) would like to identify your talk or poster with this symposium, please don’t forget to select it on your abstract submission form under “Complementing Sessions” (Section F on the webform)!

Movement is fundamental to life. It underlies all animal behavior, governing the use of home ranges; interactions with mates, competitors, predators or prey; and even the negotiation of human-modified landscapes. But what determines how fast an animal moves? Movement speed is a choice, and variation in speed alters an animal’s energetic expenditure, the time needed to complete a task, and the likelihood of successfully completing that task. Yet, despite the importance of speed, we still have no universal framework for understanding – and predicting – how fast or slow animals should, or do, move under natural conditions.

Towards a predictive framework for animal movement: The burgeoning field of movement ecology has taken up the challenge of integrating studies of organismal movement, offering a unifying paradigm for the causes, consequences, underlying mechanisms, and patterns of all movement-related phenomena (Nathan et al. 2008). Movement ecology highlights the interplay among the external and internal factors affecting movement, including the internal state (why move?), motion (how to move?), and navigational decision-making (when and where to move?) of individuals. Our proposed symposium links each of these mechanistic tenets within the behavioral framework of speed choice. A universal framework for predicting animal movement speed should be applicable to the movement of any animal across different ecological contexts.

Why develop a predictive framework for animal speed? An animal’s movement speed dramatically affects its probability of survival and reproductive success, and so has the potential to structure populations, communities, and ecosystems. Yet we understand little about why animals select the speeds they do in nature. The topics covered in this symposium will demonstrate how internal state and the external environment interact to drive speed choice in animals, allowing integrative biologists to predict how environmental change affects behavior as diverse as dispersal, foraging, migration, fighting, signaling, and predator escape. The speakers use expertise in the fields of metabolism, neurophysiology, biomechanics, mathematical modelling, evolution, ecology, and human biology to develop a predictive framework for understanding why animals move at the speeds they do in natural landscapes.

Sponsors: SICB wide; DAB, DCB, DCPB, DEE, & DVM



S1.1 Sunday, Jan. 4, 08:00 WILSON, RS: Can we predict how fast animals will move in their environment?

S1.2 Sunday, Jan. 4, 08:30 HUSAK, J. F.: Animal speeds in different ecological contexts: when the laboratory meets nature

S1.3 Sunday, Jan. 4, 09:00 HALSEY, LG: Animal locomotion: What factors shape the energy costs?

S1.4 Sunday, Jan. 4, 10:00 CLEMENTE, C J *; WYNN, M L; AMIR ABDUL NASIR, A F; HUDSON, M G; WILSON, R S: Balancing biomechanical constraints when selecting movement speeds in natural environments.

S1.5 Sunday, Jan. 4, 10:30 WALL-SCHEFFLER, C.M.: Optimal movement speeds in human locomotion

S1.6 Sunday, Jan. 4, 11:00 WHEATLEY, R*; BROWN, C; ANGILLETTA, M/J; NIEHAUS, A/C; WILSON, R/S: Optimising performance by balancing trade-offs between speed and accuracy

S1.7 Sunday, Jan. 4, 11:30 CESPEDES, Ann M.*; LAILVAUX, Simon P.: Simulating the evolution of maximal and optimal speeds

S1.8 Sunday, Jan. 4, 13:30 WILSON, Alan M: Optimal locomotion speeds in wild African carnivores during hunting and ranging.

S1.9 Sunday, Jan. 4, 14:00 MOORE, Talia Y*; VASUDEVAN, Ramanarayan; BIEWENER, Andrew A: Outrun or Outmaneuver: Ecological context informs more broadly applicable biomechanical studies

S1.10 Sunday, Jan. 4, 14:30 COMBES, S.A.*; SALCEDO, M.K.; GAGLIARDI, S.F.; CRALL, J.D.; IWASAKI, J.M.; RUNDLE, D.E.: Optimal flight speeds during dragonfly predator-prey encounters

S1.11 Sunday, Jan. 4, 15:00 : Discussion