Center for Animals and Public Policy Animal Matters Series

The Center for Animals and Public Policy hosts the Animal Matters Seminar Series at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Each spring and fall, the Center invites speakers from all over the country to give a lecture on their subject of expertise. The guest lecturers represent diverse perspectives on an array of topics relating to animal ethics and policy and their talks are open to the public free of charge. See below for a list of past and upcoming lectures.

Upcoming Lectures

A Good Life for Laboratory Animals
Live Webcast
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Streaming Live at Noon into Varis Lecture Hall (letter "K" on the campus map)
Daniel Weary, PhD
Professor, Animal Welfare Program, University of British Columbia
Associate Dean, Graduate Studies
Industrial Research Chair in Animal Welfare, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada
Dr. Weary co-founded the University of British Columbia's Animal Welfare Program in 1997,where he currently works with students and colleagues using behavioral methods and non-invasive techniques to assess animal welfare. He also serves as the Industrial Research Chair in Animal Welfare for NSERC, a Canadian government entity that awards research grants in science and engineering. He has worked extensively on welfare issues affecting dairy cattle as well as some laboratory species.
"A Good Life for Laboratory Animals" focuses on environmental enrichment for laboratory rodents and its affects on their welfare as well as research outcomes.
This event will be a live interactive webcast with Dr. Weary from his Canadian location to Cummings School's Varis Lecture Hall.
Made possible by the generous support of: Elizabeth A. Lawrence Endowed Fund and the Tompkins Fund
Download the flier for this event.
Click here to join live seminar remotely
Meeting number: 737 046 722 Meeting password: weary

Organs-on-Chips as Potential Alternatives to Animal Testing
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Noon in the Varis Lecture Hall (letter "K" on the campus map)
Geraldine Hamilton, PhD
Lead Senior Staff Scientist, The Wyss Institute, Harvard University
President and CSO, Emulate
Dr. Geraldine Hamilton will discuss the potential impact of novel biomimetic microsystems, Organs-on-Chips, and their application for predicting efficacy, safety and mechanism of action for new drugs, chemicals, and cosmetics. Human organs-on-chips provide exciting new approaches to attack fundamental questions in biology and develop smart in vitro surrogates. By offering a more human relevant alternative to current animal based approaches for disease model development, this technology allows researchers and clinicians a true-to-life window into better understanding human health.
Made possible by the generous support of: Elizabeth A. Lawrence Endowed Fund and the Tompkins Fund
Download her biography here
Download the flier for this event.
Click here to join live seminar remotely
Meeting number: 737 633 365 Meeting password: hamilton

Stress, the HPA Axis, and Nonhuman Primate Well-Being
Friday, February 13, 2015
Noon in the Varis Lecture Hall (letter "K" on the campus map)
Melinda Novak, MS, PhD
Professor and Chair of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst
"Stress, the HPA Axis, and Nonhuman Primate Well-Being" will discuss the the HPA axis and its involvement in abnormal behavior and other abnormal conditions such as alopecia in rhesus macaques.
Dr. Melinda Novak joined UMass Amherst in 1973, and has been head of the department of psychology since 1995. Her research examines the effects of early experience on cognitive and social development in rhesus monkeys. Dr. Novak has been a visiting professor in the department of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School's New England Regional Primate Research Center from 1987-91 and from 1994-present. She has also been a guest researcher at the National Institutes of Health Laboratory of Comparative Ethology since 1988. Novak was the acting co-editor of the American Journal of Primatology (2003-04), associate editor from 1999-03, and a member of the editorial board from 1997-99. She was also a consulting editor of the Journal of Comparative Psychology from 1994-97.
Made possible by the generous support of: Elizabeth A. Lawrence Endowed Fund and the Tompkins Fund
Download the flier for this event.
Click here to join live seminar remotely
Meeting number: 730 452 493 Meeting password: novak

Numerical Competence in African Grey Parrots (Psittacus erithacus)
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Noon in the Varis Lecture Hall (letter "K" on the campus map)
Irene M. Pepperberg, MA, PhD
Research Associate and Lecturer, Psychology Department, Harvard University
Dr. Irene Pepperberg received her MA and PhD from Harvard University. Dr. Pepperberg’s research interest is in animal cognition and comparative psychology, with an emphasis on avian behavior. She works with Grey parrots, teaching them to communicate with humans using the sounds of English speech, and then uses this communication code to test them in ways similar to those used with young children. The main focus of her work is to determine the cognitive and communicative abilities of these birds, and compare their abilities with those of great apes, marine mammals, and young children. Download her biography here
Made possible by the generous support of: Elizabeth A. Lawrence Endowed Fund
Download the flier for this event.
Click here to join live seminar remotely
Meeting number: 736 520 948 Meeting password: pepperberg

Past Lectures