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Meet the University of Edinburgh Host Committee Team!


Prof. Jo Williams, Host Chair

Clinical and Health Psychology

Prof. Jo Williams leads the Children, Adolescents and Animals Research (CAAR) group and is the Director of the Centre for Applied Developmental Psychology in Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She is a developmental psychologist whose research focuses on children’s interaction with animals and the impact of animals on child development and mental health. Her research is highly applied and involves working with animal welfare and children’s charities to develop interventions to reduce childhood animal harm and promote positive interactions between children and animals. Jo is currently creating a campus dog programme, Paws on Campus, for The University Edinburgh with colleagues in Clinical and Health Psychology, the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, and international collaborators.

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Dr. Roxanne Hawkins

Clinical and Health Psychology

Dr. Roxanne Hawkins is a Lecturer in Applied Psychology within Clinical and Health Psychology. She is a multidisciplinary researcher, and her research programme primarily lies within the following key research themes: 1) Mental health implications of human-animal attachment, 2) Role of animals within adversity, risk, and resilience, and 3) Child development and the human-animal bond. Roxy also has direct experience in designing, developing, and evaluating interventions to promote positive and safe human-animal interactions and has been a principal investigator and co-investigator on several successful grants within HAI.

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Dr. Rebecca Marsland

Social Anthropology

Dr. Rebecca Marsland is a medical and multi-species anthropologist whose research focuses on human-animal relationships and One Health. She is the coordinator of the One Health in Society Network in the University of Edinburgh. Beckie’s research spans a range of national contexts, including Tanzania, East Africa and the Unites States of America.


Dr. Andrew Gardiner

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Dr. Andrew Gardiner is a is practicing veterinarian and academic with wide research interests in human-animal relations. He has over 12-years of experience of providing outreach services for under-served communities, including at All4Paws, a student-led outreach veterinary service for homeless and vulnerably housed animal owners in Edinburgh.

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Dr. Monja Knoll

Clinical and Health Psychology

Dr. Monja Knoll is a psychologist with expertise in a wide range of research methodologies and specific research interests include human-animal interaction and human-rabbit interactions. She has worked extensively on speech and communication, children’s mental health, and children’s interactions with animals.

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Dr. Steve Loughnan


Dr. Steve Loughnan is an empirical social psychologist interested in human-animal interactions with a specific focus on beliefs about farmed animals. His work has examined omnivores meat-eating behaviour and the ways in which dietary practice changes attitudes toward, beliefs about, and the treatment of farmed animals. More broadly he has examined the ways in which we attribute moral concern to animals and the natural world.

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Laura Wauthier

Clinical and Health Psychology

Laura Wauthier is finishing her PhD in Clinical Psychology, which investigated children’s relationships with animals and evaluated a novel and successful intervention for children at high-risk of animal harm, the Scottish SPCA’s Animal Guardians programme. She has extensive experience with animal-assisted activities, both as an equine facilitated learning practitioner (EFL) and through volunteer work with Riding for the Disabled (RDA) and Therapets (Canine Concern Scotland).

Anthrozoology at the University of Edinburgh

Research on One Health and human-animal interactions is growing rapidly in the University of Edinburgh. Jo, Roxy, and Laura are members of the Children, Adolescents and Animals Research Group, in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Edinburgh. Roxy leads Science of Pets, a social media platform to bring anthrozoology research to the public and engage the public in research. Beckie leads the One Health in Society Research Network from Social Anthropology, which includes academics from across the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and beyond. Humanimal Kind is an arts-based network of academics researching human-animal interactions through art and design. The University is also a world-renowned center of veterinary studies, animal behavior and animal welfare. With a vibrant research culture and expansive postgraduate community, the University of Edinburgh is poised to become a leading center for the study of Anthrozoology in the UK.

Other Team Members

Dr. Patricia Pendry, ISAZ President

Abbey Thigpen, ISAZ Administrative Manager

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