289: Daniel T. Blumstein | Examining Animal Behavior To Understand More About “The Nature Of Fear”

Fear is a driving force for much of the population, and Dr. Daniel T. Blumstein speaks about fear in his book The Nature of Fear: Survival Lessons from the Wild, released by Harvard University Press. Looking at marmots, snakes, and a variety of animals, in regards to their fear responses and biochemical adjustments, allows us to understand and manage our own fears.

Professor Blumstein runs the Blumstein lab at UCLA in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology College. Project topics at the lab include evolution of social behavior and communication, antipredator vigilance, climate change and population biology, conservation behavior, biological impacts of tourism, and many more.

From Wikipedia, Professor Blumstein is also “… a professor for the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability [at UCLA]. He has authored or co-authored over 300 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Furthermore, he authored the book The Failure of Environmental Education (and How We Can Fix It) with Charles Saylan, which was featured in the 2011 “Summer Reading: 7 Education Books to Take to the Beach” in Time Magazine. Because of his work in conservation and education, he was invited to join the panel at the first ever United States White House conference on environmental education.

Blumstein earned a PhD in animal behavior in 1994 and a MS in animal behavior in 1990, both from the University of California, Davis. He earned a BA in environmental, population, and organismic biology as well as environmental conservation from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1986.”

We spoke about marmot research, fear response, nonlinearities in sound, projects his lab is working on, sections from the book, how fear response is looked at, and more.

Past guests mentioned in this episode, and the topic with which they were brought up:

Professor Peter T. Coleman – Polarization

Dr. Geoffrey West – Scaling Laws

Dr. Azra Raza – Socialization During Dinner Gatherings

You can check out The Nature of Fear on Amazon.