Tinbergen’s Legacy in Behaviour: Sixty Years of Landmark Stickleback Papers

In a flurry of post-war productivity, Niko Tinbergen re-established his lab in Leiden, wrote landmark papers and his famous book The Study of Instinct, and founded the journal Behaviour to serve the burgeoning field of ethology. Tinbergen and his senior assistant, Jan van Iersel, published their classic paper, "Displacement reactions in the three-spined stickleback," in the first issue of his new journal in 1948. Stickleback are now a powerful model in the fields of behavioural ecology, evolutionary biology, developmental genetics, and ecotoxicology - an extraordinary development for a small fish that began its modeling career among an enthusiastic core of Tinbergen students in the 1930s. From a series of clever experiments with painted model fish to the use of the sequenced genome to analyze the genetic basis of courtship, stickleback science progressed in leaps and bounds, often via seminal studies published in the pages of Behaviour. Tinbergen’s Legacy in Behaviour traces sixty years in the development of science using stickleback as a model, with 34 original articles covering topics ranging from homosexuality and cannibalism to genetics and speciation. Desmond Morris, Theo Bakker, Robert Wootton, Michael Bell, Tom Reimchen, Boyd Kynard, Harman Peeke, and Iain Barber provide fresh retrospectives on their republished works. Commentary by Frank von Hippel accompanies the articles and explains the roles they played in the frontiers of science as researchers falsified or expanded upon one another’s ideas.
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Biographical Note

Frank A. von Hippel, Ph.D. (1996) in Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, is Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He has published extensively in the fields of evolution, animal behavior, ecology and ecotoxicology, using the stickleback as a model system.

Review Quote

"The collection illustrates the rapid development of this field from ethology or Tierpsychologie towards up-to-date behavioural ecology and its manifold sub-areas. ... [It] is a book which has been on my desk since I bought it and every now and then I start reading it again, finding new interesting stuff from 60 years of stickleback research. ... Of course at a first glance this book appears to be most interesting for people working on sticklebacks and other fish model systems to whom I highly recommend it. I am, however, sure that readers with a more general interest in the course of behavioural research during the last 60 years will also not regret obtaining this nice anthology." J. G. Frommen, University of Bern, in: Journal of Fish Biology (2011) vol. 79, pp. 310–311 "Frank Von Hippel has collected a number of research milestones in stickleback research [which] represent key moments in the science of animal behaviour. ... For current researchers in animal behaviour, this book provides a fascinating overview of the history of the discipline and the journey it has taken from its beginnings in the middle of the last century to the present day." Ashley Ward, University of Sydney, in: Fish and Fisheries (2011) vol. 12, pp. 120–121 "... [T[hose interested in learning more about the major scientists in stickleback research and the history of this model organism will find this book a useful read." Kate L. Laskowski, Eric R. Giesing, Laura R. Stein, Simon P. Pearish, and Molly H. Kent, University of Illinois, in: The Quarterly Review of Biology, vol. 85, p. 516

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Introduction: the Stickleback Model Russell & Russell (1985): Sticklebacks and ethology The Reproductive Cycle Tinbergen & van Iersel (1948): “Displacement reactions” in the three-spined stickleback Retrospective: Desmond Morris Morris (1957): “Typical intensity” and its relation to the problem of ritualisation Morris (1958 excerpts): The reproductive behaviour of the ten-spined stickleback (Pygosteus pungitius L.) Sevenster (1961 excerpts): A causal analysis of a displacement activity (fanning in Gasterosteus aculeatus L.) Retrospective: Harman V. S. Peeke Peeke (1969 excerpts): Habituation of conspecific aggression in the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.) Retrospective: R. J. Wootton Wootton (1971 excerpts): Measures of the aggression of parental male three-spined sticklebacks Retrospective: Theo C. M. Bakker Bakker & Sevenster (1983 excerpts): Determinants of dominance in male sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.) Baerends (1985 excerpts): Do the dummy experiments with sticklebacks support the IRM-concept? MacDonald et al. (1995 excerpts): Intertidal breeding and aerial development of embryos of a stickleback fish (Gasterosteus) MacDonald et al. (1995 excerpts): Experiments on embryo survivorship, habitat selection, and competitive ability of a stickleback fish (Gasterosteus) which nests in the rocky intertidal zone McDonald et al. (1995 excerpts): Nuptial colour loss and signal masking in Gasterosteus: an analysis using video imaging Kraak et al. (2000 excerpts): Stickleback males, especially large and red ones, are more likely to nest concealed in macrophytes Rush et al. (2003 excerpts): Reflectance spectra from free-swimming sticklebacks (Gasterosteus): social context and eye-jaw contrast Homosexuality, Cannibalism & Sexual Strategies Morris (1952): Homosexuality in the ten-spined stickleback (Pygosteus pungitius L.) Morris (1955): The causation of pseudofemale and pseudomale behaviour: a further comment van den Assem (1967 excerpts): Territory in the three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus L. An experimental study in intra-specific competition Retrospective: R. J. Wootton Wootton (1972 excerpts): The behaviour of the male three-spined stickleback in a natural situation: a quantitative description Retrospective: Boyd Kynard Kynard (1978 excerpts): Breeding behavior of a lacustrine population of threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.) Ridley & Rechten (1981): Female sticklebacks prefer to spawn with males whose nests contain eggs Feuth-de Bruijn & Sevenster (1983 excerpts): Parental reactions to young in sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.) Salfert & Moodie (1985 excerpts): Filial egg-cannibalism in the brook stickleback, Culaea inconstans (Kirtland) Foster (1995 excerpts): Understanding the evolution of behavior in threespine stickleback: the value of geographic variation Predators & Parasites Hoogland et al. (1956 excerpts): The spines of sticklebacks (Gasterosteus and Pygosteus) as means of defence against predators (Perca and Esox) Retrospective: Iain Barber Barber & Huntingford (1995): The effect of Schistocephalus solidus (Cestoda: Pseudophyllidea) on the foraging and shoaling behaviour of three-spined sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus Retrospective: T. E. Reimchen Reimchen (1995 excerpts): Predator-induced cyclical changes in lateral plate frequencies of Gasterosteus Reimchen (2000 excerpts): Predator handling failures of lateral plate morphs in Gasterosteus aculeatus: functional implications for the ancestral plate condition Physiology & Behaviour de Ruiter & Bonga (1985): Consequences of nestbuilding behaviour for osmoregulation in male three-spined sticklebacks Borg & Mayer (1995): Androgens and behaviour in the three-spined stickleback Borg et al. (2004): Mechanisms in the photoperiodic control of reproduction in the stickleback Behavioural Genetics, Phylogenetics & Speciation Bakker (1986 excerpts): Aggressiveness in sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.): a behaviour-genetic study Retrospective: Michael A. Bell Bell (1995): Intraspecific systematics of Gasterosteus aculeatus populations: implications for behavioral ecology von Hippel & Weigner (2004 excerpts): Sympatric anadromous-resident pairs of threespine stickleback species in young lakes and streams at Bering Glacier, Alaska Kitano et al. (2008 excerpts): Divergence of male courtship displays between sympatric forms of anadromous threespine stickleback Bibliography of stickleback papers published in Behaviour, 1948-2008


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