Guest lecturer discusses animal behavior studies

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The betta fish in your room might be more aware of its world than you think.

Jonathan Balcombe is the chair of Animal Studies with the Humane Society University and is coming to Pacific Feb. 10. Recently he has focused on fish, but Balcombe has written four books and over 50 scholarly ar- ticles on animal behavior and animal to human relationships.

Balcombe is the first lec- turer for the spring semester brought in by the Center for Peace and Spirituality.

“For the center, this talk

is about peace with the earth,” said Dave Boersema, director for the Center for Peace and Spirituality. “We aren’t the only species here. It ties in the natu- ral and life sciences.”

Much of Balcombe’s work reflects scientific evidence that animals are not only acting on instinct, but for some species there’s a much higher level of cognitive awareness.

“He’s one of my heroes,” said Boersema. “I’ve read three or more of his books.”

During his visit, Bal- combe is giving lectures in two classes. He will start off in Ani- mal Behavior, taught by biol- ogy professor Brian Searcy.

Later he will speak dur-

ing the Animal Ethics class taught by philosophy professor Ramona Ilea.

“He’s used to talking to academic audiences and non- academic, so it’ll be good that he gets to talk in the different classes,” said Boersema.

In the evening, Balcombe will give the lecture “Ani- mal Lessons from a Vegan Bi- ologist” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Marsh Hall 216. The event is free and open to the public.

The Pacific for the Dignity of Animals Club is helping host the event and will be providing vegan snacks.

“Issues with the natural world tie into peace,” conclud- ed Boersema.


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