2015 Animal Matters Series Lectures

Marker-Based Training: An Evolving Technology You Can Use Now

Thursday, February 26, 2015
Noon in the Varis Lecture Hall (letter "K" on the campus map)
Karen Pryor
Founder, Karen Pryor Clicker Training, Waltham, MA
Graduate Mentor, Animal Behavior, Hunter College, NY
Medical Student Training Consultant, Montefiore Hospital, NY

Modern training, based on selected findings of the behavioral sciences, has been evolving continuously since the 1960’s. The growth has happened without significant representation in the technical literature, and mainly in the current transformations in the animal training world. Pryor will give us an overview of some recent achievements in marker-based training with potential value to those who work with animals, including incorporating ethology and teaching voluntary husbandry behaviors. She will discuss new applications and uses for marker-based trained dogs, ranging from wildlife conservation to epilepsy protection, as well as advanced techniques such as teaching animals and people to be innovative on cue; using an event-marker to improve research results; and developing crucial skills in medical students.

Download her biography here
Made possible by the generous support of: Elizabeth A. Lawrence Endowed Fund

View recorded seminar here

Numerical Competence in African Grey Parrots (Psittacus erithacus)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Noon in the Varis Lecture Hall
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

View recorded seminar here

Made possible by the generous support of: Elizabeth A. Lawrence Endowed Fund

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Stress, the HPA Axis, and Nonhuman Primate Well-Being

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Noon in the Varis Lecture Hall
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.

The “Link” Between Animal Abuse and Human Violence
Animal Matters Seminar Series

Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Noon in the Varis Lecture Hall
Lila Miller, DVM
ASPCA Vice- President, Shelter Medicine

It has become increasingly clear that there is a strong “Link” between animal abuse and human violence, including criminal activities, spousal, child and elder abuse. This presentation will explore this Link and reasons for animal cruelty, and describe the role of veterinarians and society in reducing animal suffering and protecting public health.

Made possible by the generous support of: Elizabeth A. Lawrence Endowed Fund

The Effects of Human-Animal Interaction on Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
Animal Matters Seminar Series

Thursday, October 22, 2015
Noon in the Varis Lecture Hall (Entrance via Jumbo’s Path)
Directions and Parking

Jennie Dapice Feinstein, PhD, OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Perkins School for the Blind

Dr. Feinstein is a pediatric occupational therapist at Perkins School for the Blind and volunteers with Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit organization that provides service dogs to people with disabilities. She has been involved in the animal therapy community for more than twelve years and holds a Masters in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University.

Made possible by the generous support of: Elizabeth A. Lawrence Endowed Fund

Click here to view presentation

The Challenges of Creating Zoos That Are Ethical Edens
Animal Matters Seminar Series

Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Noon in the Varis Lecture Hall (Entrance via Jumbo’s Path)
Directions and Parking

Ron Kagan
Director/Chief Executive Officer, Detroit Zoological Society

Ron Kagan is an advocate for compassionate conservation, animal welfare, and humane education. He has worked at and consulted for numerous zoos and aquaria over the past three decades and lectures at universities and conferences around the world. Ron has authored numerous papers in scientific journals, encyclopedic entries and book chapters on museum governance and zoological subjects including animal ethics and welfare.

Made possible by the generous support of: Elizabeth A. Lawrence Endowed Fund

Dr. Temple Grandin: Livestock Behavior & Welfare: Experience, Research, and the Impact on My Life and Teaching
Animal Matters Seminar Series with Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction

Mon-Tues, Nov 30-Dec 1, 2015
Medford and Grafton campuses

Temple Grandin, PhD. is a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, best-selling author, autism activist, and world-renowned consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior discusses her life with animals and how they have enriched all of our lives. The subject of an HBO movie, Dr. Grandin has been an advocate for those who can't speak for themselves.

Made possible by the generous support of: Elizabeth A. Lawrence Endowed Fund