The 2018 recipient of the Jane E. Decker Award is Andrea Bilotta. Andrea attended the 2018 Annual Animal Behavior Society Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin .
Amidst the heat and humidity of August in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; roughly two thousand people gathered on the University of Wisconsin campus to talk about animals. All two thousand participants at the annual Animal Behavior Society Conference were self-proclaimed animal nerds, gathered together to share all of the wonderful research and advocacy work being done for animals around the world. Regardless if you worked with animals or in academia, all were welcomed to attend the conference to hear about the latest and greatest animal research.
I was lucky enough to be accepted as a poster presenter at the conference. For the past two years I have been working with the American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) of western Washington; studying the ways in which they communicate vocally and form intricate social networks. My poster (which was nominated for the Genesis Undergraduate Research Award at the conference) was titled, American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) Responses to Calls with Altered Intercaw Intervals and Overlap and although this was not my first time presenting my research, it was the first time I was able to present in front of other animal researchers to hear their critiques and feedback.
Overall, attending ABS 2018 was a wonderful experience that I will remember for many years to come. The feedback I received while attending has reshaped the way I conduct my research and has influenced my current career path. All of this was made possible thanks to the Jane E. Decker Award that funded my trip to Milwaukee! There is still so much to learn from animals and I’m so appreciative of those who support the research that is being done. Below is the poster I presented with further details of my work: