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

London Wolff

London Wolff

London is a PhD student who graduated with honors in Biology and Animal Behavior, Ecology and Conservation from Canisius College in 2016. She completed her senior thesis on the affects of the domestication process on dogs’ social cognitive skills. Subsequently she researched decision making with orangutans and dolphins as well as long-tailed macaque social structure at the Indianapolis Zoo. London is interested in exploring how social structure and developmental differences of individuals across and within species impact their decision making processes, specifically looking at impulsivity and risk taking.

Jessica Barela

Jessica Barela

Jessica graduated from Texas Christian University in 2021 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She has a one-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog who is her first dog! She plans on attending a psychology graduate program and is interested in researching the human-animal interaction between humans and dogs.

Hunter DeBoer

Hunter DeBoer

Hunter is a sophomore majoring in Psychology, Mathematics, and Physics. He plans on continuing to graduate school and become a college professor. Hunter loves dogs and is excited to work with them.

Miranda Dresen

Miranda Dresen

Miranda is going to be a senior in the upcoming semester. She is an animal science major with the pre-vet option and a fisheries and wildlife minor. She is hoping to get into either vet school or graduate school to become either a veterinarian or an animal geneticist. Her favorite dog breed is the Great Dane; she is definitely biased as she has owned two Great Danes. She recently traveled to Illinois to pick up her newest addition, a 3 month old Great Dane puppy.

Hannah Fitzpatrick

Hannah Fitzpatrick

Hannah is a junior at UNL majoring in Veterinary Biomedical Sciences. She plans on applying to veterinary school in the summer of 2022 to hopefully get accepted into Iowa State’s vet program for the fall of 2023. She is excited to observe and participate in research involving dogs and the psychology behind their behavior—topics she’s passionate about and hopes to include in her future career.

Joelle Sanger

Joelle Sanger

Joelle is a Junior Biological Sciences major from Broken Bow, Nebraska. She has one troublemaker of a cat and plans on getting more animals soon (hopefully a dog!). She plans on continuing her education in grad school after she graduates.

Bailey Wilson

Bailey Wilson

Yasmin Worth

Yasmin Worth

Yasmin is a freshman at UNL studying Biochemistry in a Pre-Veterinary focus and minoring in Animal Science. She loves being around animals, especially her cuddly cat. She is excited to participate in this research.

Linus

Linus

Linus is London's English shepherd who also acts as a pilot subject in the dog cognition studies and as a dog intervention in the canine-human interaction studies.  He has received his Canine Good Citizen certification.





Former team members

Meredith Batten

Meredith Batten

Toria Biancalana

Toria Biancalana

Megan Bosworth

Megan Bosworth

Rose Felice

Rose Felice

Haley Hays

Haley Hays

Megan Herridge

Megan Herridge

Kylie Hughes

Kylie Hughes

Camryn Kelly

Camryn Kelly

Maggie Kempf

Maggie Kempf

Billy Lim

Billy Lim

Maddie Mathias

Maddie Mathias

McKenna Rezny

McKenna Rezny

Elise Thayer

Elise Thayer

Destiny Vail

Destiny Vail

McKenna Yohe

McKenna Yohe

Koda

Koda