Happy New Year and Introduction of new members of the ISAZ Student Committee

We wish all our readers a very happy new year! As start into the new year we would like to introduce our new Student Committee members. As a new team we are very motivated for upcoming projects with the aim to promote networking of young researchers interested in the field of Anthrozoology. Following you´ll find short Bios of our Committee to get a quick insight into the team.

Molly Crossman


Hi everyone—my name is Molly. I am the chair of the ISAZ Student Committee and I’m excited to be back for the second year of my two-year term as ISAZ Student Board Member. I am currently a sixth-year doctoral student in clinical psychology at Yale University and a clinical psychology intern at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School. I also currently co-direct the Yale Innovative Interactions Lab, which is directed by Dr. Laurie Santos. Our work in the lab is focused on establishing human-animal interactions as an efficient strategy for improving human mental health, as well as understanding some of the processes through which these interactions might improve human mental health.

Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with the committee if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions! Don’t forget to join the ISAZ Student Facebook Group and let me know if you would like to be added to the student Google group. You can reach me at molly.crossman@yale.edu. We look forward to seeing folks in Orlando this July!

Sara Owczarczak-Garstecka


I’m Sara and I’m studying for a PhD entitled Dog Bites: Perceptions and Prevention at the University of Liverpool, UK, supervised by a team led by Dr Carri Westgarth. During my Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at the University College London, I became interested in human-animal interactions and developed a passion for interdisciplinary research. Later, I began volunteering for a dog shelter and a London city farm and started learning about animal behaviour and welfare and how to apply it in practice. This led me to a Masters degree in Clinical Animal Behaviour at the University of Lincoln and working as a clinical animal behaviourist.

I enjoy my PhD because it is really applied— I often work with people who work with or around dogs and, alongside my supervisors, advise on bite prevention. I also enjoy learning about human behavior change and how it can be harnessed to improve safety in human-animal interactions.

I attended my first ISAZ conference in Barcelona in 2016 and then in Sydney 2018. Meeting conference attendees and immersing myself in ISAZ talks is a huge motivation boost and an inspiration for further research. I’m really happy to be a part of the Student Committee this year and to assist in issuing the ISAZ Newsletter.

Lisa Emmett


Hi my name is Lisa Emmett and I live in Vienna, Austria with a Bobtail (Old English Sheepdog) called Luna. I did my Bachelors degree in psychology and my Masters in clinical psychology at Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. Subsequently, I completed postgraduate training to become a health and clinical psychologist. In that role, I gained practical experiences in several health facilities and psychiatric departments. I am working on my PhD in psychotherapy science and a training to become a CBT therapist. My dog Luna and I are also in training to become a therapy dog team, because I would love to have her as a co-therapist in my treatments.

With the help of Luna and my supervisor, Dr. Birgit U., I became fascinated by the field of Anthrozoology. My PhD thesis focuses on the development of a questionnaire measuring the suitability of dog owners. This past July it was my first time at ISAZ in Sydney and I am still very grateful that I had the opportunity of meeting all these impressive scientists and practitioners in the field. I am very excited to be on the ISAZ Student Committee and to be co-editing the Student Blog this year.

The ISAZ Student Blog is posted quarterly and each post is authored by a different student member of the International Society for Anthrozoology. Interested in authoring a post? Please see our submissions page for details on how to apply.

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