We celebrate this year’s conference theme, improving relations, with two very special keynote speakers:
Anne McBride is a Senior Lecturer in Human-Animal Interactions and Animal Behaviour at the University of Southampton. She is also a practising animal behaviour therapist and from 1999 to 2009 was head clinician at the Animal Behaviour Clinic at the University of Southampton.
Between 1995 and 2002, McBride co-founded HOPE (Homeless Owners with Pets project), now subsumed under the National Canine Defence League. She was member of the advisory panel for the production of the 'Canine Code for Kids', of the executive committee of SCAS (Society for Companion Animal Behaviour Studies), and of the British Veterinary Behaviour Association.
Between 2000 and 2013, McBride has been awarded a number of honorary positions, including: Honorary Member of The Canine Training and Behaviour Society; Honorary Member of the British Veterinary Nursing Association; Honorary member of the Italian Veterinary Behaviour Association; Honorary member of the UK Registry of Canine Behaviourists; Honorary Teacher at the University of Bristol Veterinary School; Honorary Fellow of Myerscough College, University of Central Lancashire; Honorary Secretary of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors.
She is currently Member of the Companion Animal Welfare Council and Chair of the Programme Recognition Committee of the Animal Behaviour and Training Council. She is Deputy Chairperson of PATHWAY - a working party looking at pets and housing issues in the UK. She is a patron of the Rabbit Welfare Association.
McBride lectures nationally and internationally, on various aspects of animal behaviour and the human-animal bond. Her passion is to increase our understanding of what animals need, how we perceive them and interact with them, be they pets, farm, laboratory or living in the wild, so that we can improve animal welfare, reduce animal-related injury to people and ensure a sustainable future world for both humans and animals.
Adam Miklósi is a full Professor and the Head of the Department of Ethology at the Eötvös University in Budapest (Hungary). He is also the co-founder and leader of the Family Dog Project which aims to study human-dog interaction from an ethological perspective. Due to the process of domestication dogs evolved a unique relationship with humans because they had gained skills, which allow specific behavioral adjustments in the human social environment. Miklósi and his collaborators showed that dogs develop specific attachment relationships with their owners, dogs are able to communicate with humans using a range of fine-tuned visual and acoustic signals, and dogs are also able to learn via observation and utilize such knowledge for their own benefit.
In recent years, Miklósi has also become interested in the automation of measuring dog behavior and his research group is looking at ways to study the neural and genetic aspects of dog behavior using non-invasive methods like fMRI and EEG. In 2008 Miklósi became involved in human-robot interaction research, and soon he became interested in studying dog-robot interaction as new method to understand the functioning of dogs’ mind.
Over a period of more than twenty years The Family Dog Project has published more than 150 scientific papers, and organized several conferences. In 2008 researchers and experts gathered for the first time in Budapest to start the conference series of Canine Science Forum to share their results and insights on dogs and their relationship with humans. In 2014 Miklósi published the second edition of an academic volume entitled Dog Behavior, Evolution and Cognition by Oxford University Press that summarizes the most recent status on dog oriented research.