Behaviour Discussion Group

The Behaviour Discussion Group (BDG) takes place once per fortnight during semester and involves an informal evening pot-luck meal in a member of staff’s home and a short research talk, often by a postgraduate research student or visiting scholar. BDG provides a great opportunity for informal networking between researchers studying animal behaviour at the University of St Andrews and for presenting preliminary research or new ideas.



BDG was first established in 1984 by Prof. Peter Slater (School of Biology), along with Profs. Richard Byrne and Andrew Whiten (School of Psychology), so it has now been running for almost 40 years. At the start, only a handful of researchers in St Andrews studied animal behaviour, with Peter Slater’s bird song research group being a core component of those early meetings, which always took took the form of an evening pot-luck meal at a staff member’s house. Peter’s house on Dempster Terrace, St Andrews, often hosted the first BDG of the academic year. BDG now has an invitation list of over 100 members, which is broader than SLaCE membership as it includes academic staff and postgraduate researchers studying animal behaviour from across the institution. The breadth and depth of animal behaviour research at St Andrews has been fostered and supported through BDG, and the welcoming atmosphere that it has created for both staff and postgraduate students continues to create a intellectually stimulating and sociable atmosphere that benefits us all.