Jason Watters

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The effect of an individual’s behavioral type (e.g., its boldness or aggressiveness) on fitness likely depends on the environmental context. In many species, an important component of an individual’s environment is its social environment — the mix of individuals in its social group. Accordingly, much of game theory assumes that the mix of behavioral types(More)
The goal of habitat restoration is to provide environmental conditions that promote the maintenance and growth of target populations. But rarely is it considered how the allocation of resources influences the diversity of phenotypes in these populations. Here we present a framework for considering how habitat restoration can shape the development and(More)
Females often prefer to mate with males with certain traits. Preferred males might cooperate with females to reduce the direct costs of reproduction. However, unpreferred males use alternative tactics that attempt to alter female choice in their favour, such as coercion. When this occurs, females have to choose whether to pay the costs of coercion and mate(More)
The concept that animals have personalities is gaining traction in the scientific community and is well established in zoos and aquariums. Applying knowledge of animal personalities has occurred more slowly and is most often only considered informally. However, animal personalities are likely to affect the welfare animals experience in captivity and thus(More)
Evolutionary biologists have usefully applied quantitative genetics methods to the pedigrees of wild animals to understand how natural selection shapes phenotypic diversity in nature. Despite recent reviews on the importance of rapid evolutionary changes for conservation biology and the increasing concerns about potentially adverse effects of adaptation to(More)
Behavioral monitoring is the scientific collection of animal behavior data to understand normal patterns of behavior and changes in these patterns. This tool is underutilized in the zoo industry although it can be an effective indicator of many potential problems that compromise zoo animal well-being. We suggest that a behavioral monitoring program should(More)
Organizers of participatory research (citizen science) projects can generate funds and outreach through crowdfunding. Here we provide insights from three successful science crowdfunding campaigns recently completed on Indiegogo, Experiment, and Kickstarter. Choosing a crowdfunding platform that fits the project is just the beginning; a successful campaign(More)
Studies of kin recognition in birds have largely focused on parent-offspring recognition using auditory or visual discrimination. Recent studies indicate that birds use odors during social and familial interactions and possibly for mate choice, suggesting olfactory cues may mediate kin recognition as well. Here, we show that Humboldt penguins (Spheniscus(More)
In May 2008, the Chicago Zoological Society's Center for the Science of Animal Welfare (CSAW) held a two-day international workshop designed to establish and foster new connections between zoo animal welfare scientists and welfare scientists in other fields, and to take the first step toward the development of a research agenda for zoo animal welfare(More)
A current focus of zoo-based research aims to identify indicators of animal welfare. Reliable behavioral indicators of welfare are highly desirable as behavioral observation is non invasive and requires little in the way of specialized equipment and other costly resources-save for observer time. Anticipatory behavior is an indicator of an animal's(More)