Our People

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Tracey Taylor

PhD Candidate

Tracey was part of the first cohort of students to complete the University of Adelaide's Bachelor of Science in Animal Behaviour in 2021. Having completed her honours, she is now undertaking her PhD research into dogs with canine cognitive dysfunction ('doggy dementia'). As a professional dog trainer, she hopes to go on to do further research into training interventions to modify behaviour and improve the welfare of senior and geriatric companion canines.

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Julia Henning

PhD Candidate

Julia Henning is a PhD candidate with a special interest in feline behaviour, animal affective states and human-cat dyads.
Her current PhD project focuses on play as an indicator and promotor of positive affective state and welfare in domestic cats.

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Dr. Torben Nielsen

Senior Lecturer

With a background as a veterinarian and training in epidemiology and veterinary public health, I have broad research interests. These include health and welfare of production and companion animals as well as wildlife. Human-animal bonding are also included in the mix.

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Dr. Eduardo J Fernandez

Senior Lecturer

Eduardo J. Fernandez received his Ph.D. in Psychology (minors in Neuroscience and Animal Behavior) from Indiana University, where he worked with the Indianapolis and Cincinnati Zoo. He received his M.S. in Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas, where he
founded the Organization for Reinforcement Contingencies with Animals (ORCA).

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Sonya McDowall

PhD Candidate

Sonya McDowall is a concurrent PhD and MBA candidate with an interest in animal assisted therapies. In particular: dogs, veterinary business and animal welfare.

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Josh Zoanetti

PhD Candidate

Josh Zoanetti is completing a PhD investigating veterans and their pets. He is continuing upon his honours project which included the issues posed to veterans owning a pet, and the potential benefits of companion animals in combating mental health issues like PTSD and how attachment interacts with these costs and benefits. With a background in Finance, Josh has completed government funded research in risk analysis of allowing pets in aged care homes, as well as working for multinational companies in the financial sector.

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Dr. Susan Hazel

Senior Lecturer

Susan Hazel graduated last century as a veterinarian from the University of Sydney. Following graduation she worked in private practice before completing a PhD, postdoctoral positions in Sweden and Sydney, then working in medical research and public health. In 2006 Susan took up her current position teaching animal behaviour, welfare & ethics at the School of Animal & Veterinary Sciences.

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Ana Goncalves Costa

PhD Candidate

Ana came back to university because she had too many questions on animal behaviour, and not enough answers. She is particularly passionate about helping dogs and humans live together successfully, through education, understanding, and researching the human/canine experience.

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Natalie Worth

PhD Candidate

Natalie Worth is a Clinical Psychologist of 30 years’ experience, a fellow of the Australian Psychology Society and currently a PhD student at University of Adelaide.
Her research is focussed on Veterinary Professionals’ Experiences of Trauma at Work. Natalie has provided evidence-based, trauma-informed psychology services to a wide range of clients throughout her career as a clinical psychologist.

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Jade Fountain

PhD Candidate

Jade is a PhD candidate undertaking research into training and enrichment to improve animal welfare, with an interest in how animal training might be applied across settings to help animals live a good life. She is investigating how scent work activities benefit companion dogs. Her previous academic research looked at aggressive behaviour in native noisy miner birds and disruption of neurobiological reward pathways during learning in laying hens.

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Dr. Stephan T Leu

Lecturer in Animal Behaviour

My research focuses on animal tracking, and I ask fundamental questions about the emergence and consequences of spatial and social structure in animal populations.