I'm a Ph.D. candidate studying and teaching Animal Welfare Science and Human-Animal Interactions at Purdue University. My goals are to further knowledge of animal behavior, human-animal interactions, and animal welfare via my teaching and research.
I earned my Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from Truman State University. At Truman, I focused on horses in my research and teaching. I taught students as hands-on teaching assistants for the interactive classes of Equine Reproductive Practicum and Horse Training Class. Outside of the classroom, I conducted research on the effects of using food-based positive reinforcement for training horses.
After this I spent about 9 months investigating the welfare of cats in confinement.
In December 2017, I graduated with my M.S. in Comparative Pathobiology at Purdue and a thesis titled The Impact of Tickling Rats on Human-Animal Interactions and Rat Welfare. I continued on in the Animal Sciences department at Purdue to obtain my doctorate. In this work, I am investigating the effects of tickling rats, identifying barriers to this practice becoming more widespread, and addressing these barriers.
In addition to my rat research, I also help out in the O'Haire lab conducting research on PTSD Service Dogs for Military Veterans. In this work, we are looking at both dog characteristics and the psychosocial effects.
I currently am advised by Dr. Brianna Gaskill and Dr. Marguerite O'Haire within the Organization for Human-Animal Interaction Research and Laboratory Animal Welfare Science Lab. I manage both webpages, so check them out for more information on the projects we are working on.