Category Archives: Research

Get Involved: New Research Group

Call for expressions of interest to join a research group in Early Childhood Educational Anthrozoology (based at Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK)

The research group has a particular focus on developing connections between researchers who are looking at the ways in which;

  • young children’s animals-related learning is scaffolded by early education professionals and in education settings
  • child-animal relationships are supported/managed in different early education contexts
  • adults develop young children’s thinking about anthrozoology

and how;

  • practice varies in different contexts
  • teaching and learning is connected to local and global initiatives

Within the research group, a journal is being developed – the Journal of Early Childhood Educational Anthrozoology – which members are encouraged submit to.

If you would like to join the ECEA research group, please email in the first instance, with a brief synopsis of your research background and your interests as they relate to the focus of the research group.

Please share this information with others who might be interested in the group. There is a new page on Facebook ‘Early Childhood Educational Anthrozoology – ECEA – research group’

Get Involved: Help with AAT research

Masters student Kerry Townsend invites practitioners who deliver animal-assisted therapy (AAT) sessions to complete a brief (10-15 minute) online questionnaire.

This is a student research project, undertaken as an element of the MSc Occupational Therapy (pre-registration) degree at Sheffield Hallam University.

The study aims to survey the skills and activities worked on by people who practise AAT across the UK. The researcher is particularly interested in stroke rehabilitation, however it is not necessary for you to have prior knowledge or experience in stroke rehabilitation or occupational therapy to complete the questionnaire. Participation is entirely voluntary.

You will be contributing to research that hopes to inform the evidence base for AAT. The study is sponsored by Sheffield Hallam University and has been reviewed and approved by the Research Ethics Committee.

Please complete the questionnaire by 13th of September 2015 (date has been extended).

Questionnaire link:
Any questions please contact Kerry Townsend,



The WALTHAM® Human–Animal Interaction (HAI) Research Programme is pleased to announce the availability of £340,000 (approximately 524,000 USD) in 2015 to fund high quality research into the impact of companion animals on human cognition or academic outcomes.

Although animals are often included in educational settings for a variety of purposes, there is little empirical research documenting the efficacy of such practices. In the absence of an assessment system for these activities there are significant gaps in our understanding of the potential impact of animals on measures of academic success. Fundamental research is required to provide an evidence base to inform practice and guide educators and administrators on when, and under what circumstances, animal presence or animal ownership may be pedagogically valuable.

Specific areas of research eligible for funding under this call include but are not limited to the following categories:

  • Reading/literacy
  • Academic learning outcomes
  • Aspects of cognition (executive function, memory, learning, categorization, language etc.)
  • Stress/anxiety reduction
  • Classroom behaviours impacting academic success
  • Physical activity and cognition/learning
  • Typical and/or special populations (e.g. ADHD, autism spectrum, etc.)


Letter of Intent: Prior to submitting a formal application, investigators are required to submit a Letter of Intent to Dr. Nancy Gee (nancy. by June 1, 2015.

Application: The application deadline is June 31, 2015.

Further details and the application can be downloaded from the WALTHAM

Emotions of pets – can you read them?

_MG_1656Dr Marie-Jose Enders-Slegers, Professor of Anthrozoology at The Open University in the Netherlands, together with Professor Martens from the Maastricht University, is carrying out research into the emotions of pet animals and if pet ‘owners’ can recognize them.

If you would like to help with this research, you are invited to fill in the following questionnaire:

ISAZ abstract submissions deadline is nearing

Abstract deadline Jan 31 for the 23rd Annual Conference of the
International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ) is approaching.

The meeting will be held July 19-21, 2014 – Vienna, Austria

Animals and Humans Together: Integration in Society.

The International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ) invites submission of
both oral (15 minutes total) and poster abstracts for its 23rd Annual
Conference which will be held in Vienna, Austria on July 19-21, 2014. The
conference will focus on the role of human-animal interactions (HAI) in
society, including a range of empirical evidence for the effects of HAI on
human, animals and society. We also encourage the submission of free
papers on all other relevant topics in the field of HAI.

Research abstracts include:
1. A list of authors, institutional affiliations, and email address for
2. An introduction to the study and its objectives;
3. Methodology – including a description of the participants (both human
and animal), such as number (n), type, age, gender, and species, and a
description of the study design, data collection, and data analysis; 4.
Main results, including statistical test, significance levels and test
5. Conclusions and implications for the field. Only abstracts reporting
results will be eligible for oral presentation.

Critical review abstracts include
1. A list of authors, institutional affiliations, and email address for
2. An introduction to the objectives of the review;
3. Key literature references that have been reviewed or re-evaluated; 4.
Main findings, and
5. Principal conclusions and implications for the field.

Abstracts must be in English (UK or US spelling is both fine, please be
consistent), concise, informative and no longer than 4000 characters,
including references

All abstracts need to be submitted via the online submission system at Abstracts for oral presentations that are
not selected may be eligible for a posters. A sample abstract is provided
for reference at the abstract submission section.

Please indicate in the online submission system whether you want to
participate in the ISAZ Best Student Presentation/Poster Award.
Deadline for abstract submission: January 31st 2014.

Further information is available at the ISAZ website and on Facebook:

Job Vacancy – Mars Petcare – Research Manager – Human-Animal Interaction

Mars Petscare have a job vacancy that may be of interest to you.

Research Manager – Human-Animal Interaction (HAI)

£45,000 – £54,000 + 2 bonus opportunities, car bonus, healthcare and pension

Waltham, Melton Mowbray, Leics.

As Research Manager HAI reporting to our Head of Research, your brief will be to lead a global research and communications programme which underpins a strategic pillar of our Global Petcare Vision:  to strengthen the human-animal bond and make the world a better place for pets.  You’ll play a critical role in delivering this through high-quality scientific research in collaboration with key academics and opinion formers, as well as public-private partnerships.  That’ll involve the development and execution of a five-year strategy to improve the quality of our HAI research continuously in alignment with business priorities.  So you’ll need to:

  • monitor the latest developments within this field
  • create internal and external expertise networks
  • act as the authoritative source of information and advice on HAI for our global business.

With at least a PhD in an Ethological, Psychological, Veterinary or Health-related science discipline, you already have a proven track record within biological/veterinary scientific research, ideally involving close collaboration with NGOs/government bodies.  Your hearty appetite for constantly acquiring new scientific knowledge will complement your skills in networking and setting strategic research goals and measures.  With a clear passion for high-quality HAI research and its application, you’re readily be able to build and leverage professional networks.  Your attributes will also include:

  • the gravitas to represent Waltham within scientific and professional communities and across Mars Petcare
  • a strong drive for results

And of course, you’ll have that passion for pets.

More information about this post here:

Service Dog Netherlands starts pilot with assistance dogs for veterans with PTSD

41699710432100The Veteran’s Service Dog is an alert dog that is specially trained for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is a mental disorder that veterans may suffer as they are deployed to war zones.

The specially trained dogs help veterans to cope with stress caused by traumatic experiences in war zones. The dogs recognize the first symptoms of a nightmare and give a warning and also help to avoid stressful situations and are able to calm their “boss” and feel safe. This allows veterans with PTSD recover faster from their trauma and resume their normal lives.

For the pilot, the project team are looking for Veterans with PTSD who wish to qualify for a Veteran’s Service Dog to improve their general life welfare.

The following tasks can be a service dog to perform:

  • Wake and / or create light during a reliving of a nightmare
  • Accompany on the street
  • View a room occupants
  • Find the way home when disorientated
  • Provide distraction from worrying and depression
  • Help relax by his presence
  • Anger and anxiety indicated by contact with nose, head on your lap or jump
  • Move away from a situation where you feel unsafe
  • Keep personal zone free by standing between you and other people

Other specific tasks can also be negotiated as part of the project.

Selection of participants will be undertaken by a psychologist and instructors collaborating on the pilot. Successful applicants will then be put on a waiting list.

The pilot will study fourteen veterans with PTSD – seven of which will work with a dog and seven will take part in the research without a dog for comparison.


The Veterans Dog project is a collaboration of Service Dogs Netherlands, The Veterans House, Royal PIT Pro Rege and Dr. A. Wiersema-Ouwehand. The partners are committed to promote the advantages of having a veteran dog with war veterans and raise awareness of the Veterans Dogs among a larger group of people in the Netherlands to raise funds for the training of the dogs.

For more information please visit the website