Behavioral Research Blog

Olga Krips

Recent Posts

To be ravenous or to be social

Posted by Olga Krips on Feb 15, 2017

To voluntarily benefit another

Prosocial behavior, a voluntary behavior to benefit another, is an interesting concept from an evolutionary point of view. At first sight it may seem logical to be social, because everyone in the group benefits from it. But evolutionarily that does not hold up, because to propagate one’s own genes, cheating and being selfish pays. Therefore, many believe that prosocial behavior only exists because it is rewarded with social status, reputation, company, and receiving social behavior from others in return.  [1]

raven-1.jpg

Read More

Topics: The Observer XT, coding schemes, birds, coding behavior, food

Video tracking for high-throughput screening of plant resistance to thrips

Posted by Olga Krips on Sep 26, 2016

Unless you grow plants commercially, you may very well not know what a thrips is. It is a tiny insect that can have a not-so-tiny effect on plants. Thrips pierce plant leaves and flowers and suck out their contents. And, not less important, many plant viruses are known to be transmitted by thrips [1]. Needless to say, a lot of research is currently carried out on how to get rid of these creatures.

Read More

Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, insect behavior, Tracking insects

High-throughput screening of plant lines for resistance to pest insects

Posted by Olga Krips on Sep 16, 2016

One of the great things about working for Noldus IT is its involvement in scientific research projects. Because the tools that we offer are used in scientific research, it is logical that we also participate in projects for which such tools are developed.

Read More

Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, insect

Does pesticide resistance make malaria mosquitoes “smarter”?

Posted by Olga Krips on Nov 19, 2015

In one of my previous blog posts, I wrote about the success of insecticide treated bed nets (ITNs) in preventing malaria. In the past five years, mortality from malaria has dropped with 60%, which is at least partly due to the widespread use of ITNs [1]. However, ITNs do not offer a 100% effective solution against malaria, primarily due to the fact that not everyone in malaria-affected areas has access to ITNs. But even if they did, malaria-spreading mosquitoes may still be able to bite their victims if the bed nets have holes. In addition, mosquitoes may develop resistance against the insecticides the bed nets are treated with.

By James D. Gathany (The Public Health Image Library , ID#444) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Read More

Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, Mosquito

Bigger is not always better: hypothesis testing in sexual evolution

Posted by Olga Krips on Aug 20, 2015

Sexual selection can lead to fascinating phenomena. We are all familiar with the fabulous color display of male peacocks to attract females. Less well known, but definitely not less interesting, are stalk-eyed flies. Due to the fact that the females strongly prefer males with wideset eyes, the males have developed eyes on stalks that can be larger than their bodies. And did you know that the Irish elk developed antlers through sexual selection that span over two-and-a-half meters? Some people believe that the males with antlers this large could hardly move through the forest, which may have led to the species’ extinction. It’s no wonder that sexual preference is so well-studied with so many hypotheses formulated in relation to it.

Read More

Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, insect behavior, Tracking insects, sex-specific behavior, mites

How you can efficiently screen for plant resistance to aphids

Posted by Olga Krips on Jul 30, 2015

Aphids are small insects that pierce plant leaves and suck out their contents. They can cause considerable crop damage. Although they inflict limited physical destruction to the plant, aphids commonly infect plants with viruses, which can destroy complete harvests [1].

Read More

Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, crop protection

A new approach in the battle against malaria

Posted by Olga Krips on Jun 18, 2015

Insecticide treated bed nets

Bed nets treated with insecticide (ITNs) greatly decrease malaria illness and mortality. ITNs can decrease infant mortality from all causes by more than 20% [1,2]. However, the development of pesticide resistance is a threat to the effectiveness of ITNs. [3].

Read More

Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, Mosquito, wind tunnel

Zinc deficiency, depression and electrical signals in the brain

Posted by Olga Krips on Dec 18, 2014

Major depressive disorder

The chance that one of us will suffer from a major depressive episode during our life is approximately 10% [1]. Depression has a dramatic effect on quality of life because it results in a persistent low mood that is accompanied by a low self-esteem and a loss of interest in things that give pleasure [2]. Reason enough to carry out research on the background of major depression.

Read More

Ladybugs and lacewings do not spy on their prey’s alarm pheromone

Posted by Olga Krips on Dec 8, 2014

Aphids and their natural enemies

Leaf sucking creatures like plant aphids are common and can cause considerable damage to plants. Therefore, quite a lot of effort is made to control these tiny creatures. And because of environmental awareness, sustainable methods to control aphids are well developed. Aphids can be controlled successfully with ladybugs (Coccinella septempunctata) and also with lacewings (Chrysoperla carnea). Both species are natural enemies of aphids.

Image ladybug - By Gilles San Martin from Namur, Belgium (Coccinella magnifica) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Read More

Topics: The Observer XT, coding schemes, insect behavior, insect

Picky cats and tasty food – sniffing is an indicator for tastiness

Posted by Olga Krips on Nov 20, 2014

Picky cats

Any cat owner will acknowledge the fact that cats can be extremely stubborn. They let you hear loud and clear that they want to come in, but when you open the door, they just sit at the doorstep and stare at you. And they can be extremely picky when it comes to food. If the cat doesn’t like it, it will refuse to eat. Reason enough for the pet food industry to try to find out what cats really like.

Read More

Topics: The Observer XT, video observation, coding schemes, cats

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all