IAHAIO Board of Directors (as of July 2016)

Above: IAHAIO Board members, 2016, from left - Brinda Jegatheesan, Elizabeth Ormerod, Boris Albrecht, Marie-Jose Enders-Slegers, Keiko Yamazaki, Michał Piotr Pręgowski

Marie-José Enders-Slegers, PhD

Michał Piotr Pręgowski, PhD

Vice President Membership
Elizabeth Ormerod, BVMS MRCVS FRSA

Vice President Development
Brinda Jegatheesan, PhD

Main Editor, Science Section, People and Animals: The International Journal of Research and Practice (the official, peer-reviewed, journal of IAHAIO)
Andrea Beetz, Dipl.-psych., Dr.phil.

Main Editor, Practice Section, People and Animals: The International  Journal of Research and Practice (the official, peer-reviewed, journal of IAHAIO)
Jo-Ann Fowler, MSocSc

Vice President Conferences
Boris Albrecht

Robert Mitchell, Ph.D.

Board members-at-large
Keiko Yamazaki

Dr Ian Robertson

Roswitha Zink


Biography Marie-José Enders-Slegers

Marie-Jose Enders-Slegers is since June 2013 Professor in Anthrozoology at  the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences  at the Open University in Heerlen,  the Netherlands. She successively obtained her Doctoral Diploma Psychology (1990) at the University of Utrecht; a Doctorate (Phd) in Psychology (2000); a Diploma Health Care Psychologist (2001), Certificates Basic- and Senior Lecturer (2003) at the Utrecht University and until now numerous post doctorate courses for further qualifications in research and clinical psychology. She specialized in human-animal interactions. Her research is focused on the development of human animal relations and the meaning of human-animal interactions for vulnerable people (e.g. elderly, demented elderly, traumatized children, mentally handicapped people, children with psychiatric disorders, autistic children, and psychiatric patients) and on the link between domestic violence and animal abuse. Furthermore, she was founder and is nowadays adviser of AAIZOO (Animal Assisted Interventions in Zorg (Care), Onderzoek (Research), Onderwijs (Education); is Founder and Board member of The Circle of Violence in the Netherlands, is Fellow at the Denver University; has been member of the Expert Advisory Group Sociology of the CALLISTO project of the European Union (until 2016), is founder and board member of IVA, (Institute for Anthrozoology in the Netherlands) and is boardmember ( ex officio) of ISAZ (International Society of Anthrozoology), is on the advisory council of Green Chimneys, Brewster, N.Y. and at HABRI Central Management Advisory Board, U.S.A



Biography Michał Piotr Pręgowski 

Michał Piotr Pręgowski received his Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Warsaw, Poland, in 2008, and works as Assistant Professor at the Warsaw University of Technology. In 2014/2015 he served as a Fulbright grantee and a visiting professor at Eastern Kentucky University and its Animal Studies masters program. His research projects include social construction of dogs in the contemporary West, especially their naming and training, as well as social practices of commemorating companion animals. Michał has published four books, including edited monographs Free Market Dogs: The Human-Canine Bond in Post-Communist Poland (Purdue University Press, 2016) and Companion Animals in Everyday Life. Situating Human-Animal Engagement within Cultures (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). His practical experience in AAI includes two years of non-profit activities for underprivileged children in Warsaw, Poland (2010-2012).


Biography Elizabeth Ormerod


provides Jegatheesan

Elizabeth is a Scottish veterinary surgeon with 37 years experience in companion animal practice. She became attuned to the importance of the human-animal bond (HAB) in 1975 whilst managing the University of Glasgow's inner city charity clinic. In 1984 she and her husband, a veterinary pathologist, purchased a companion animal practice. Strategies were developed to assess, support and strengthen client's human-animal bonds, creating a bond-centred practice. As a Churchill Fellow and during subsequent study trips Elizabeth has had opportunities to visit outstanding AAI programmes in USA, Europe and Japan. Working with colleagues from the other health and social care professions, she has introduced Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) programmes to schools, nursing homes, hospitals, psychiatric facilities, sheltered housing and prisons. Elizabeth is co-founder of Canine Partners, the UK assistance dog programme, is a visiting lecturer on the HAB at UK veterinary schools and is a trainer on AAI courses offered by The Society for Companion Animal Studies (SCAS). She is the current chairman of SCAS (, an international, interdisciplinary HAB membership organisation, the first to be established in the world and the largest outside North America. Elizabeth Ormerod received the first William F McCulloch award in Chicago, 2013. 


Biography Brinda Jegatheesan


provides Jegatheesan

Brinda Jegatheesan, Associate Professor in Educational Psychology and Early Childhood and Family Studies at the University of Washington, completed graduate research training with her masters of education degree from the University of Hawai at Manoa and her Ph.D in special education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She studies child-animal interactions with multicultural children who come from vulnerable and special needs background. Her research addresses early childhood and elementary school age children's language and literacy development and socialization of moral reasoning and empathy related response through humane education and animal assisted interventions. Her research is interdisciplinary and has a biocentric approach to the scientific inquiry of child development; an all inclusive and holistic view of children's experiences with their natural environment, and the essential roles animals play in their socialization process. Much of her research involves visual ethnographic research methods. 


Biography Andrea Beetz


Andrea Beetz works as a lecturer/research affiliate at the University of Rostock, Dept. of Special Education and Rehabilitation, Germany since 2009. Her special areas of research are human-animal interactions, animal assisted interventions and human-animals as well as human-human attachment and socio-emotional competences. She has received her diploma and PhD in psychology from the University of Erlangen, Germany, where she also directed the research group “Humans & Animals” at the Department of Education from 2006-2009. During her studies and postdoc she conducted research on human-animal interactions at the Center for Animals in Society, University of California, Davis, USA, Utah State University, Logan, USA and the University of Cambridge, UK, and has presented her work on many national and international conferences.


Biography Robert Mitchell

Robert W. Mitchell, Ph.D., is Foundation Professor of Psychology and Animal Studies, and Coordinator (and instigator) of the undergraduate Animal Studies Program (the first of its kind) as well as the General Psychology Masters Program, at Eastern Kentucky University, in Richmond, Kentucky, in the U.S. He engages in research on animal behavior and cognition as well as human-animal interaction, currently focused on communication during dog-human play, and sea lion-human interaction in the Galapagos. He has published numerous articles and chapters, and edited and co-edited a variety of books, in comparative psychology, and is on the editorial board of Society & Animals, Anthrozoos, Animal Cognition, Interaction Studies, and Animal Behavior and Cognition. He is also series editor of the Animal Voices/Animal Worlds book series for University of Georgia Press.

Biography Keiko Yamazaki


Executive Board Member: Japanese Service Dog Resource Academy (affiliate member, IAHAIO)
Executive Board Member: Japan Society for the Promotion of Canine Good Citizens
CEO: Hearing Dog Prevalence Society
Executive Board Member: Japanese Coalition for Animal Welfare
Advisory Board Member: Japan Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods (JacVAM)
Advisor: Japan Animal Welfare Society
CEO: Companion Animal Study Group Go
Educator: House Rabbit Society

Biography Ian Robertson 

Dr Ian Robertson is an internationally recognised legal specialist on the subject of animals, welfare and the law. Ian originally trained as a veterinarian and had his own chain of veterinary practices providing services for owners of farm and companion animals. Ian became a media presenter on all things animal and developed an interest how the animal law impacted animals and people. He subsequently sold his veterinary practices and added a law degree with the specific intention of specialising in the area of animal law.

Ian has been litigating, teaching and advising as an animal law legal specialist for well over a decade. His frontline work has involved working as a specialist advisor in the United Kingdom and Australia, and many years working as a government prosecutor with the Ministry for Primary Industries in New Zealand. 

His wider roles include being the director of International Animal Law, a board member of selected non-government organisations and regulatory bodies (e.g. the Veterinary Council of New Zealand, and the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations), and an external associate of the OIE (World Animal Health Organisation, New Zealand Collaboration Centre). He is also a law lecturer and published author on the subject of animals, welfare and the law.

With Ian's experience regarding government and prosecution decisions, his firsthand insights as to the power role of politics, and the impact of courtroom outcomes on the lives of animals and their owners, Ian has taken the sometimes misunderstood and potentially controversial stand in being legal defense counsel and principal of guardianz lawyers and consultants ( This specialty law practice provides consultancy and legal services on a diverse range of matters involving animal law, biosecurity, and food safety. Guardianz reflects Ian’s dedication to advancing the standards of animal welfare on the basis that “there’s an inseparable connection between people, animals, and their shared planet” and that “there are few things more reprehensible than a State appointed decision-maker who fails to comply with the law they profess to uphold”. Guardianz reflects Ian’s commitment to ensuring that all stakeholders - which includes animals, people and organisations - are fairly, knowledgeably and expertly represented. To Ian, “that’s fair, that’s right, and that’s what’s expected of real justice

Biography Boris Albrecht

As general director of the A and P Sommer Foundation since 2008, Boris Albrecht’s role is to support human-animal interaction through funding, colloquiums, awards, and communication. In addition to overseeing financial aid for human-animal interaction programs and research throughout France, he provides direction for the Foundation’s educational initiatives and plays an active role in national and international HAI networks. Boris has frequently been invited to discuss the benefits and challenges of human-animal interaction on the radio and in the press.  

Biography Roswitha Zink

Roswitha studied biology and special needs education at the University of Vienna. In 2003 she founded a centre for therapy with animals in a psychiatric hospital at Vienna, Austria, where 500 children are treated by year. At a small farm in Lower Austria, she learned a lot about agriculture and there her organisation also started a green care farm. Her expertise in training is with horses, sheep, cats, dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs. She has spent a lot of time trying to make progress in professional therapeutic methods and special training for animals, and her team has created a method based on biological knowledge combined with psychotherapeutically-based children treatment. Knowledge, self-determination, humanity, dignity and humility are fundamental values in her work with animals and sick people. In 2016 she started a new scientific project with the co-operation of four universities, about backgrounds of breathing and heart rate (HRV) from humans and animals in therapeutic sessions. To modulate stress, she taught her horses to snort, which changed many practical exercises. Her belief is that synchronization helps to conjure therapeutic moments especially for traumatized patients.


IAHAIO conference stream and AGM 2017, California

IAHAIO is delighted to announce that it will be hosting a dedicated HCAB stream at the ISAZ conference on 24 June 2017 at the University of California, Davis, California, USA. The IAHAIO Annual General Meeting will take place on 23 June. Registration is now open. Full details, including the IAHAIO programme, can be found here. IAHAIO member, Pet Partners, is also offering 6 places to IAHAIO members for their Pet Partners Evaluator Training which will take place during the conference. Further details are available here.

IAHAIO White Paper - Animal assisted interventions

The IAHAIO White Paper outlining definitions and guidelines for animal assisted interventions and wellness of animals involved was endorsed by  IAHAIO members in 2014, and has now been translated into French, German, Dutch and Polish. An essential document for everyone involved in AAI. For further information, click here.

IAHAIO Digital Photo Contest

When you look at HAI, what do you see? HAI around the world

Open to all IAHAIO member organisations, the IAHAIO photo contest invites members to share their images of human-animal interactions with the IAHAIO community and help build our photo library. It carries a first prize of $500. Closing date for submissions is 15 May 2017. For contest rules and instructions. please click here.

Temple Grandin interview

We are delighted to share a video of Temple Grandin being interviewed by IAHAIO Board member, Brinda Jegatheesan, which was shown at the IAHAIO conference in July. Click here to view.

People and Animals: The International Journal of Research and Practice (PAIJ)

We are delighted to announce the launch of the new IAHAIO open-access, peer-reviewed Journal! It publishes articles relating to research, practice and education in HAI and AAI. For further information and to submit abstracts for review for the first issues, please click here.