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

Billy Lim

Billy Lim

Billy Lim is a PhD student who graduated from the University of Auckland in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology. For his honours thesis, he examined the presence of three signature of jealousy in dogs. Following the completion of his degree, he researched the spatial abilities of fish using movable fish tanks with the Animal Minds Lab at the University of Auckland. Billy is interested in the co-evolutionary history between humans and dogs and how each species has shaped the other’s cognition which he is excited to explore further at CCHIL.

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

Toria Biancalana

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.

Toria Biancalana

Toria Biancalana

Toria is a junior at UNL studying Fisheries and Wildlife with minors in Conservation Biology and Psychology. She has 3 cats all under a year old and they are the light of her life! She enjoys sand volleyball, the outdoors, but she is all for a lazy day watching Disney movies! Her end career goal is to study the interactions between humans and large marine mammals, and to see how we influence each other.

Rose Felice

Rose Felice

Rose is a former First-Year Research Experience student from Washington state who plans on majoring in Neuropsychology and dreams of running her own clinic one day. Rose is a huge animal and people person and is passionate about being involved in the psychology clinical world. She is currently studying Spanish as one of her minors and hopes to add possibly zoology or special education to her degree as well.

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.

Camryn Kelly

Camryn Kelly

Camryn is a freshman from El Dorado Hills, California, studying Nutrition and Health Sciences at UNL. Her end goal in her career is to be a physician’s associate working with the psychology behind addiction and addictive medicine. She is a member of the Chi Omega sorority chapter on campus and University of Nebraska Dance Marathon. After graduate school, she wants to get a Bernese mountain dog, and more animals in the future.

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.

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

Megan Bosworth

Megan Bosworth

Haley Hays

Haley Hays

Megan Herridge

Megan Herridge

Kylie Hughes

Kylie Hughes

Maggie Kempf

Maggie Kempf

Maddie Mathias

Maddie Mathias

McKenna Rezny

McKenna Rezny

Elise Thayer

Elise Thayer

Destiny Vail

Destiny Vail

McKenna Yohe

McKenna Yohe

Koda

Koda