Explore the Human-Animal Relationship
Discover how the human-animal relationship affects the health of animals, humans, and our communities at large.
The Research Series on Human-Animal Relationships was founded in 2021 as an interdisciplinary research group and seminar 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 collectively have expertise in veterinary medicine, animal cognition, anthropology, interpersonal psychology, and human decision-making, among other disciplines. In addition, our affiliates have joint appointments in other academic areas of the University of Arizona.
About Our Upcoming Lecture
Human-Animal Research with Dr. Evan MacLean
Friday, October 27
Featured Speaker: Evan MacLean
Dr. 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, which studies 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. His work has been highlighted in media outlets, including The New York Times, National Public Radio, the BBC, and National Geographic.
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.
Martin Reimann is an associate professor of marketing at the Eller College of Management, with appointments as associate professor in the Department of Psychology, the College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Cognitive Science Graduate Interdisciplinary Program. He currently serves as Eller Faculty Senator.
Dr. Marguerite (Maggie) O’Haire is an internationally recognized Fulbright Scholar and the Associate Dean for Research at the College of Veterinary Medicine. She earned her BA in Psychology from Vassar College in New York and her PhD in Psychology from The University of Queensland in Australia. Her research program focuses on the unique and pervasive ways humans interact with animals.
Jennifer Wishnie is a public health professional with more than twelve years of global experience in food production, food safety and public health. Her areas of expertise include One Health medicine, cross-sector relationship building and collaboration, strategic programming, policy development and educational outreach and teaching.
Watch Previous Lectures
Dr. Maggie O'Haire on Human-Animal Interaction Research
Dr. Marguerite (Maggie) O’Haire is an internationally recognized Fulbright Scholar and the Associate Dean for Research. She earned her BA in Psychology from Vassar College in New York and her PhD in Psychology from The University of Queensland in Australia. Her research program focuses on the unique and pervasive ways humans interact with animals. Her findings have been instrumental in evaluating the effects of human-animal interactions, from research with household pets to highly trained service animals. She has received funding from three NIH institutes (NICHD, NCCIH, NCATS) to fund her human-animal interaction research. Check out an interview with Dr. O’Haire and NIH Medline Plus for her advice on becoming a human-animal interaction researcher.
Dr. O’Haire’s research topics have included classroom-based, animal-assisted intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder and the effects of service dogs on veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder and their families. In addition to her peer-reviewed publications and textbook chapters, her work has also been highlighted in over 1,000 media stories around the globe, including NPR, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. Dr. O’Haire has won the International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ) Early Career Award and the Young Alumnae Achievement Award from Vassar College for her exceptional professional achievements.
The State of the Science in Human-Animal Interaction Research – Where we are now and a Vision for the Future
This presentation will provide a top-line overview of the evidence in the field of Human-Animal Interaction, providing a developmental perspective and some indication of the strength and quality of the evidence. It will further explore the gaps in our knowledge and highlight important directions for future research, including quality science of all varieties, innovative approaches, next-generation ideas, and suggestions for interdisciplinary and international collaborations. It will envision the future regarding proposals for translating the growing evidence base into the most effective and efficient practices, focusing on animals as partners in the process deserving of a good life while consistently adhering to overarching and well-established best practice standards.
PTSD service dogs for military veterans: What are they, what do they do, and are they effective?
PTSD service dogs are becoming increasingly popular for military veterans with PTSD. But what exactly do they do, and are they effective at treating PTSD? Dr. Rodriguez will discuss her research in this field, discussing current findings on how PTSD service dogs benefit military veterans and their families.
Assisting the Animal in Animal-Assisted Interventions
When animal-assisted intervention (AAI) aims to achieve positive effects for the human participant, it is easy to overlook the impact on the animal itself. Animal welfare research in AAI explores the benefits and consequences of these human-animal interactions.
Learn More About our Research Initiatives
We are a community built on a shared commitment to exploration and innovation. Our research efforts focus on advancing human and animal health globally through interdisciplinary research.
You can learn more about our research areas focused on expanding the future of veterinary medicine and One Health.