Thomas Getty

 signaling theory graphicProfessor and Departmental Chairperson

Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1980
218 Natural Science
229 Academic Bldg
W.K. Kellogg Biological Station
Office Telephone: 616-671-2229
Research website

Behavioral Ecology

My research focuses on the role of information in various aspects of animal behavior, including: predator-prey interactions, territorial and cooperative behavior, habitat and mate choice and the maintenance of phenotypic plasticity. I have often used signal detection theory to approach these phenomena as discrimination problems. Most of my past empirical work has been with birds and mammals but my students' projects have included insects, spiders, fish and plants, as well.

Representative Publications

Getty, T. 2006. In evolutionary games, enlightened self-interests are still ultimately self-interests. Behavioral & Brain Sciences in press.

Dubois, N.S., E.D. Kennedy, and T. Getty. 2006. Surplus nest boxes and the potential for polygyny affect clutch size and offspring sex ratios in house wrens. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. 273:1751-1757.

Getty, T. 2006. Sexually selected signals are not similar to sports handicaps. TREE 21:83-88.

Getty, T. 2004. A kind man benefits himself - but how? Evolutionary models of human food sharing. Behavioral & Brain Sciences 27 (4): 563+.

Olendorf, R., T. Getty, K. Scribner, and S.K. Robinson. 2004. Male red-winged blackbirds distrust unreliable and sexually attractive neighbours. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. 271: 1033-1038.

Olendorf, R., T. Getty and K. Scribner. 2004. Cooperative nest defence in Red-winged Blackbirds: reciprocal altruism, kinship or by-product mutualism. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. 271:177-182.