How do your earliest interactions affect the rest of your life? Why is impulse control so difficult in some contexts but not others? When can we detect warning signs of cognitive decline? What are the characteristics of a successful working dog, and how soon can we tell? Will the puppies outsmart me today? (Invariably, yes.)

My research seeks to answer all these questions and more using my study species, the domestic dog.


I am currently a post-doctoral research associate at the Arizona Canine Cognition Center (in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona) and Canine Companions, where I study how early developmental, behavioral, and cognitive factors impact later life outcomes.

I earned my PhD in Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania where I worked with Robert Seyfarth, Dorothy Cheney, and James Serpell. For my dissertation, I partnered with The Seeing Eye, Inc.  to conduct a longitudinal study investigating puppy development, which involved tracking a cohort of 138 puppies from birth until completion of the program.


Prior to UPenn, I earned a B.A. in Psychology and English from Duke University, where I worked at the Duke Canine Cognition Center studying inhibitory control in pet and Canine Companions® service dogs with Evan MacLean and Brian Hare.

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16_12 Pilot testing Group puppy photo 2.