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Keynote Speakers for 2019

Hal HerzogHal Herzog has been investigating the complex psychology of our interactions with other species for more than two decades. He is particularly interested in how people negotiate real-world ethical dilemmas, and he has studied animal activists, cockfighters, animal researchers, and circus animal trainers. An award-winning teacher and researcher, he has written more than 100 articles and book chapters. His research has been published in journals such as Science, The American Psychologist, The Journal of the Royal Society, The American Scholar, New Scientist, Anthrozoös, BioScience, The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and Animal Behavior. His work has been covered by Newsweek, Slate, Salon, National Public Radio, Scientific American, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune and many other newspapers. In 2013, he was given the Distinguished Scholar Award by the International Society for Anthrozoology.

Hal Herzog is Professor of Psychology at Western Carolina University and lives in the Smoky Mountains with his wife Mary Jean and their cat Tilly.

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Marcy Norton (Ph.D. Berkeley) is a historian of the early modern Atlantic World, with a focus on Latin America and Spain. Much of her Marcy NOrtonresearch is guided by two questions: How did colonialism shape the Americas? And how did Native America shape European modernity? Thematically she is most interested in writing history that explores the intersections of environment, embodiment, and thought, concerns that have guided her work on the history of food, drugs, science and inter-species relationships. Her publications include Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World (Cornell University Press, 2008, winner of the best book prize from the Association for the Study of Food and Society), “Subaltern Technologies and Early Modernity in the Atlantic World” (Colonial Latin America Review, 2017) and two articles that appeared in American Historical Review, “Tasting Empire: Chocolate and the Internalization of Mesoamerican Aesthetics (2006) “The Chicken or the Iegue: Human-Animal Relationships and the Columbian Exchange” (2015), which won the Council on Latin American’s history Vanderwood prize for the best article in Latin American History. She also co-edited (with Ralph Bauer) a special issue of Colonial Latin America Review entitled Entangled Trajectories: Indigenous and European Histories. (2017). She is currently finishing a book about colonialism and human-animal relationships in early modern Europe and America, which will be published by Harvard University Press.

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Seth MagleSeth Magle is the Director of the Urban Wildlife Institute at the Lincoln Park Zoo, and the Executive Director of the Urban Wildlife Information Network. Seth first became interested in conservation and ecology as a college student while observing black-tailed prairie dogs living in sidewalk median strips near his home in Boulder, Colorado. Eventually he completed an honors thesis on the behavior of this urban-adapted keystone species; he ultimately expanded on that research for both a master’s degree and a doctorate. However, Seth’s interests go far beyond prairie dogs to encompass all wildlife species impacted by urbanization and human development. He has published over 40 articles on urban wildlife ecology. His vision is to help create a world in which urban ecosystems represent an important component of the worldwide conservation of biodiversity.


Clare RittschofClare Rittschof's work merges perspectives from a variety of disciplines in biology, including ecology, animal behavior, evolution, and neuroscience. In 2011, she earned a PhD in Zoology from the University of Florida where she studied spider behavior and body size evolution. From 2011-2015 she worked as a post-doc at the University of Illinois and Pennsylvania State University, primarily studying honey bee social behavior, neuroscience, and genomics. Clare started a position as an Assistant Professor of Entomology in 2016 at the University of Kentucky. Her current work is focused on social interactions and how they impact the brain and other tissues, particularly in the context of honey bee aggression. Rittschof was recently awarded a grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research to fund a new project investigating how cover crops and winter weeds impact wild bee communities and honey bee health, expanding her research into the realm of agricultural ecology. In addition to mentoring graduate and undergraduate students, Clare combines her broad research interests in a course called the Neuroscience of Pollination. She advocates for an interdisciplinary approach to the study of animal social behavior, and is most fascinated by studies that compare animal species across the tree of life in order to better understand our social world.

Lucy ReesLucy Rees is an equine ethologist, writer and horse trainer. For decades Lucy has studied wild and feral horses in Wales, Spain and Uruguay and used her work in search of the easiest way of dealing with horses, one which is universally applied and is successful. Her 2017 book, Horses in Company, challenges commonly held conceptions of equine dominance hierarchies—something which is not observed in horses living under truly natural conditions—which form the basis of many schools of horsemanship.

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