What is translational behavioral ecology?
In NIH-speak, translational research is fundamental research which also has a clear human health benefit. As behavioral biologists, many of us engage in translational research with a clear wildlife conservation benefit. The field of conservation behavior is explicitly translational in that it translates fundamental advances in behavioral biology to help conserve or manage wildlife populations. Sadly, we don't have a funding body which has a clearly defined objective to support such translational research. I hope that with the development of the field of conservation behavior we will see interest in explicitly supporting translational behavioral ecology. At this stage, I believe we need to use and define the term whenever possible. Such lobbying is the first step towards developing a funding stream.
Daniel T. Blumstein
22 May 2008