People

People

Koda licking Jeff

Dr. Jeffrey R. Stevens

Dr. Jeff Stevens

Dr. Stevens is the director of the Canine Cognition and Human Interaction Lab. He received his Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior from the University of Minnesota in 2002. He then spent four years as a Ruth L Kirschstein postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. From 2006-2011, he held a research scientist position in the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.

Dr. Stevens is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology and is a faculty member in the Center for Brain, Biology & Behavior. He is interested in the evolution of cognition and decision making in humans and other animals. At the moment, his research focuses on cooperation, intertemporal choice, risky choice, and social contact. He has studied these topics in over a dozen species of primates, birds, fish, and now dogs.

Research team

Elise Thayer

Elise Thayer

Elise is a PhD student who graduated from UNL in 2017 with her bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She studied the effects of nature on decision making in the ADML her senior year, and stayed on post-bacc to venture into the realms of animal behavior and community outreach. Elise is excited to further explore human decision making in a variety of contexts, including food choices and human-animal interactions.

Megan Bosworth

Megan Bosworth

Megan Bosworth is an undergraduate student at UNL who majors in biology and has minors in psychology, German, and humanities in medicine. After graduating, she plans on becoming a physician’s assistant. Megan has enjoyed assisting with research in the Adaptive Decision Making Lab at UNL and is excited to further study how dogs influence human cognition.

Maddie Mathias

Maddie Mathias

Maddie is a psychology undergraduate student from Palatine, IL. She is studying to become a Physician Assistant, and currently works as an Resident Assistant and Certified Nursing Assistant.

Koda

Koda

Koda is a Catahoula leopard dog who acts as a pilot subject and confederate in the dog cognition studies and as the dog intervention in the canine-human interaction studies.  He is currently working on his Canine Good Citizen certification.