Gordon Burghardt News

NIMBioS: Special Collection Explores Origin and Evolution of Play

An adult Gelada monkey plays with a juvenile. A new special issue of Adaptive Behavior examines the evolution and origin of play via mathematical and computational approaches. Credit: Elisabetta Palagi

Research on the evolution and function of play at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis at UT has culminated in a special issue of the journal Adaptive Behavior. The collection heavily features the research of Gordon Burghardt, who works on many aspects of animal behavior, play behavior, ethical treatment of animals, and zoo animal welfare.

Huffington Post, Psychology Today Highlight Burghardt Research on Animal Play

The Huffington Post and Psychology Today highlighted Gordon¬†Burghardt‘s research on animal behavior in a story examining how and why dogs play. Burghardt, a UT Alumni Distinguished Service Professor, holds appointments in the Departments of Psychology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

UT Study: Crocodiles Just Wanna Have Fun, Too

croc2

Turns out we may have more in common with crocodiles than we’d ever dream. According to research by a UT psychology professor, crocodiles think surfing waves, playing ball, and going on piggyback rides are fun, too.

Learning From Animal Friendships

New York Times

A New York Times article about unlikely animal pairings featured Gordon Burghardt. The Alumni Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology studies animals at play. Burghardt defines play as a repeated behavior that should not contribute to survival. It is spontaneous and voluntary, performed when the animal is healthy

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Fish Want to Play Too

Discover

Discover magazine featured the research of Psychology Professor Gordon Burghardt and his colleagues Vladimir Dinets, a psychology research assistant professor, and James Murphy of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, DC. They are the first to document play with objects in a cichlid fish species. There are hundreds of species of cichlid, including tilapia,

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Play Date: Saturday’s UT Pregame Showcase to Focus on Importance of Play

Gordon Burghardt, Alumni Distinguished Service Professor in the departments of Psychology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, will be talking about the importance of play at this week’s Pregame Showcase prior to Saturday’s football game against the Alabama Crimson Tide.