International Conference on
Veterinary Science

August 28-30, 2023 | Online Event
VET 2023

Melissa Shyan Norwalt

Melissa Shyan Norwalt, Speaker at Veterinary Conference
University of Cincinnati, United States
Title : The Human-Animal Bond with Caretakers, Researchers, Technicians, and Animals


A relationship—whether intentional or not—is often established between humans and animals in veterinary facilities, agricultural facilities, and laboratories. Behavioral theorists suggest that human-animal relationships can take several different forms.  Research has found that the nature of these relationships or bonds can directly and negatively affect the findings of scientific studies, the qualities of meat products in agriculture, and the treatment success, long-term of animal patients. The presentation will provide five categories of human-animal bond relationships and will address how they affect both animal and human welfare, and animal-outcomes in these various settings. The presenter will provide a variety of real-world examples, as well as scientific evidence on these. Caretakers, veterinary staff, and researchers may find this information helpful, as they continue work to improve outcomes, by first recognizing and then consciously modifying and selecting these relationships. 

Audience Take Away:  
• Explain how the audience will be able to use what they learn? The audience will learn to observe their own relationships with their research or animal patients.
• How will this help the audience in their job? This presentation addresses the different types of relationships, how they affect the humans and the animals, including human-fatigue, and ways to modify these to improve both animal and human welfare. 
• Does this provide a practical solution to a problem that could simplify or make a designer’s job more efficient?  Yes.


Dr. Shyan-Norwalt received her Doctorate in Experimental Psychology at the University of Hawaii in Comparative Cognition. After a two-year postdoctoral fellowship on research in primate cognition, she taught for two years at Southwest Texas State University, and then moved to Butler University in Indianapolis, where she taught experimental methods, learning, and cognition for 13 years. She has been a college professor, published scientist, animal shelter manager, and animal behaviorist. She is currently an Educator Associate Professor of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Cincinnati.