Human-Animal Interaction Lecture Series

Oxytocin Pathways in the Context of Human-Animal Interaction

dog research


11 a.m. to noon, Nov. 17, 2023

About the Lecture Series

The series features regular scholarly talks and discussions on human-animal relationships. Our affiliates investigate different facets of human-animal relationships, broadly construed. We have expertise in veterinary medicine, animal cognition, anthropology, interpersonal psychology, and human decision-making, among other disciplines. 

Topic: Oxytocin Pathways in the Context of Human-Animal Interaction

Featured Speaker: Evan MacLean, PhD

Evan MacLean is an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona, where he holds appointments in Anthropology, Veterinary Medicine, Psychology, and Cognitive Science.  He is the founder and Director of the Arizona Canine Cognition Center. Dr. MacLean received his Ph.D. in Evolutionary Anthropology from Duke University in 2012, where he was a James B. Duke Fellow. His research integrates evolutionary biology and comparative psychology methods to address questions about the mechanisms through which animals represent and reason about the world and the processes through which cognition evolves. He also conducts applied work investigating how dog behavior, cognition, genetics, and neuroendocrinology research can improve how dogs are selected, bred, and trained for societal roles.

In addition to his work on animal behavior and cognition, Dr. MacLean studies the biological mechanisms involved in human-animal interaction, focusing on the neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin. He has led diverse projects on these topics, supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Naval Research, the AKC Canine Health Foundation, and the Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition.  In 2015, he was awarded a Next Generation Canine Research Fellowship from the Stanton Foundation. His work has been highlighted in media outlets, including The New York Times, National Public Radio, the BBC, and National Geographic.