Hartpury University will host the International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ) Conference at its Gloucestershire campus from 27-30 June 2024. The theme is ‘Watch and Learn: The value of observing and being with animals’ with a vision to explore and bring greater awareness of the value of observation to both human and animal wellbeing.
Each year, the ISAZ Conference welcomes a range of researchers, practitioners, and students from a variety of disciplines and perspectives including psychologists, anthropologists, ethologists, and medical and veterinary professionals. The aim is to encourage a broad discussion of the research on the many ways our lives intersect with, and impact, other species.
As public focus on human interactions with animals increases, it’s imperative for researchers and practitioners to consider the value of animals in human lives and potential for mutually beneficial interactions through observing animals. Alongside historical and cultural topics such as the role of animals in zoos, agriculture, art, literature and media, other topics including observation methods, animal assisted services (AAS), animals at home, at work, in leisure and tourism, alongside moral and ethical scrutiny encapsulated in the social licence to operate (SLO) will be explored.
Human-animal interaction remains a key part of Hartpury University’s Animal degrees and the institution is unique in offering both human psychological and animal behaviour perspectives. These include the BSc (Hons) Human-Animal Interaction with Psychology degree, postgraduate MSc Anthrozoology, brand-new MSc Animal Assisted Counselling and the online MSc Animal Welfare, Policy and Legislation. At the 2023 ISAZ Conference, hosted by Edinburgh University, Hartpury University was well represented with staff and students presenting research to delegates. The 2024 conference will be chaired by Hartpury’s Dr Clare Thomas-Pino (Lecturer in Human-Animal Interaction and Programme Manager for the BSc (Hons) Human-Animal Interaction with Psychology) and co-chaired by Dr Darcy Bornemann (Lecturer). The Hartpury organising team also includes Dr Chris Pawson, Caroline Elliott, Gemma Penhorwood, Dr Ivana Schork, Dr Helen Tedds, Ben Klinkenberg, Evangelos Diamantakos, Lily Harris and PhD student Polly Doodson.
Dr Clare Thomas-Pino said: “It’s a great privilege to be hosting the ISAZ Conference in 2024. The value of human-animal interactions cannot be understated, but at a time when animal welfare is so under the spotlight, it’s important to consider these relationships from both perspectives to ensure they are mutually beneficial. This is something we do every day across all of our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, and we look forward to incorporating this at the conference.
“Events like these provide staff and students with an opportunity to network with global peers, share knowledge and ideas, and make a real impact on the industry at a pivotal moment for animal and human wellbeing. It also allows us to share our passion for animals as an institution and our commitment for improving human-animal relationships wherever they occur.
“We look forward to welcoming everyone to our beautiful campus next summer.”
Scholars and members of the public from around the world are invited to the event with submissions of abstracts, symposia and workshop proposals opening on 1 December 2023. Find out more: ISAZ Conference | International Society for Anthrozoology
Hartpury Animal is home to an extensive animal collection, as well as a large rural estate for wildlife observation, which provides students with an opportunity to learn more about the behaviour and care of a range of species. Partnerships with zoos, wildlife parks and organisations such as the WWT Slimbridge offer students the opportunity to educate members of the public with their research. Volunteer schemes allow students to develop practical skills outside of the classroom, and opportunities to attend and present at industry conferences help to bring the teaching experience to life, reflected in Hartpury University being awarded Gold in all three areas of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). Students emerge as highly skills and employable graduates, with 97% in employment, further study, or other purposeful activity (Graduate Outcomes 2023).