HAI Lab Director
Monique Udell, PhD
Giovanna Rosenlicht, DVM
Giovanna is investigating canine oxytocin receptor genotypes and potential application for use in prediction of affiliative and aggressive behaviors.
Kristyn Vitale, PhD
Kristyn Vitale (Shreve) is a researcher in the Human-Animal Interaction Lab. She received a Master’s in Environmental Science from Miami University where her thesis examined social behaviors between free-roaming colony cats. She received her PhD from Oregon State University where her dissertation examined cat social cognition and the influence of kitten training and socialization classes on the human-cat bond. She also served as a Visiting Research Fellow at Kyoto University in Japan where she conducted cross-cultural research into the cat-human bond.
Her research with the OSU HAI Lab has been internationally featured in media outlets such as National Geographic, The Washington Post, Scientific American, PBS, Time, The New York Times, The Times of London, and W Radio Columbia. She has worked with cats for over a decade in a variety of contexts including as a Trap Neuter Return volunteer, shelter worker and adoption counselor, photographer, cat trainer, and researcher studying cat behavior.
Lauren Brubaker, M.S.
lauren.brubaker14 [at] gmail.com
Lauren is a PhD student in the Human-Animal Interaction Lab at Oregon State University. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Utah State University in Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences and a minor in Psychology. While at USU, she worked extensively in behavior analysis and animal science research. She received her master’s degree from OSU in Animal and Rangeland Sciences with a focus on animal behavior. While obtaining her MS degree her work revolved around the problem solving abilities of different canine populations, equine assisted therapy, and animal cognition. She has an interest in studying animal problem solving abilities, the human-animal bond, animal cognition, animal-assisted therapy, and animal training techniques with a variety of animal species, but particularly canines, equines, and felines.
Lauren Thielke, M.S.
thielkel [at] onid.oregonstate.edu
Lauren is a second year Master’s student in Animal Science at OSU. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Zoology. Her research interests include human-animal interactions and dog behavior, particularly with regard to different factors that contribute to the development of behavioral problems in dogs.
shelby.wanser [at] oregonstate.edu
Shelby is a second year Master’s student in Animal Sciences at OSU. Shelby also completed their undergraduate studies at OSU, receiving an Honors Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences in 2015. Shelby has a strong interest in animal behavior particularly as it relates to training and other human-animal interactions. They have been training dogs in dog agility since childhood, and they have since garnered experience training a wide variety of species in a variety of fields including the film-industry and in animal-assisted therapy. Shelby’s present research focuses on canine-assisted therapeutic interventions for youth with developmental disabilities and their career aspirations include animal-facilitated psychotherapy work with youth. Their other research interests include attachment, synchronization, cognition, and development, especially with dogs and wolves as well as other species.
Hadley is a sophomore majoring in Biology with a pre-veterinary option and a minor in chemistry. She is pursuing a career as a veterinarian and wants to work in shelter medicine. She is primarily interested in the study of dogs and cats in shelters, including ways to reduce stress and euthanasia rates, strategies for making animals appear more adoptable, and analysis of shelter demographics. Hadley enjoys fostering dogs and volunteering in animal shelters or with spay and neuter programs. She is currently assisting Lauren Thielke in her research pertaining to the effects of oxytocin in dogs, but hopes to soon begin research more specific to her personal interests.
Courtney is majoring is psychology and international studies. She will be working on the dog-assisted therapy research team in our HAI lab, and is also involved in psychology and medical anthropology research in other labs on campus. Courtney wants to pursue a PsyD and become a clinical psychologist who specializes in abuse therapy. In her free time, Courtney reads, plays guitar, and volunteers as a 4H leader.
I’m a recent graduate of wildlife science and psychology at OSU, interested in animal cognition and using wildlife behaviors to help solve conservation problems. I’ve worked on projects with wild rodents, mule deer, elk, tree swallows, violet-green swallows, captive gray wolves, drafting a Conservation Efforts Assessment Plan, as well as working with the US Forest Service as a summer wildlife technician. I’m currently involved in a collaborative project that is investigating canine understanding of probability and helping my labmates with their projects. I’m also trying to enter graduate school, where I hope to create a behavioral budget on captive and wild wolves, and test if naïve cattle can learn about new predators from each other.
Veronica Martin is a research assistant and undergraduate studying Animal Science at OSU; pursuing a career as a veterinarian. She currently volunteers at multiple animal shelters, veterinary clinics, and a thoroughbred horse ranch. She is a lab assistant for both Kristyn Shreve and Lauren Brubaker. She is excited to bring the skills she has learned at the animal behavior lab into her future animal interaction.
Ashley is a sophomore undergrad majoring in Animal Science with a Chemistry minor and pre-veterinary option. She is pursuing a career in veterinary medicine and wants to be a small animal vet. Ashley is an officer of the Pre-Veterinary Medical Association, Sheep Club and the National Honor Society of Collegiate Scholars. She assists Lauren Thielke with her oxytocin research and Kristyn Shreve with her kitten preferences and coding. In her free time, Ashley enjoys playing with lambs at the sheep center, watching How I Met Your Mother, and spending time with her friends and family in Portland.
Affiliated Faculty & Students
Lindsay Mehrkam, PhD, BCBA-D
Lindsay was a postdoctoral scholar in the Human-Animal Interaction Lab at Oregon State University. Lindsay received her Bachelors in Animal Behavior from Franklin & Marshall College, and her Masters and PhD in Psychology/Behavior Analysis from the University of Florida. Her research examines how the environment affects play behavior in dogs, wolves and wolf-dog “hybrids” and how human interaction influences the welfare of companion and exotic animals. She has also published several studies on the benefits of human-animal interaction, enrichment and applied behavior analysis in evaluations for improving the welfare of a wide range of species in captivity. She currently works as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Monmouth University.