Interested in joining my research team?


Great! Research experience can be a great way to explore the field of animal behavior. It’s not for everyone, so it is important (for both you and I) to take the time to try things out before committing to a research position. The first step is to review my research interests and contact me to arrange a meeting to discuss options. We will also make a visit to the SPCA Serving Erie County so you can get a feel for the setup.

My lab is based on an apprenticeship model which means that I accept students to work on specific projects under my guidance. Therefore, I only accept students if I have a project available for you to work on.

In addition to working on research projects, all students are expected to attend our Cat Crew meetings, which are held bi-monthly on Friday afternoons. We get together to discuss research papers and the status of our research, and have some snacks.

Research students in my lab typically take participate in one or more of the following ways (click on the tabs to learn more):

These projects involve travel to the SPCA, usually 2-3 times per week. Thus, this option is only available to students who have a car on campus. We use the Timestamped Field Notes App for iOS to collect observational data using a predetermined ethogram. Projects using live data collection usually require 2-3 weeks worth of training and passing a “reliability test,” which ensures that data are being collected in a consistent manner across observers.



Using GoPro cameras, we record time lapse footage of the cats at the shelter. We code information from these pictures as a part of many of our on-going projects.

lab work

If you are interested in the Anthrozoology program, I am happy to speak with you about the program and our students. Please email me to set up a time to chat. If you are interested in conducting research with me, please be advised that I do not oversee Master’s Theses. For that, I will refer you to Dr. Christy Hoffman, who advises the quantitative thesis students.