James Serpell

Man in blue jacket sits on a wooden bench in front of brick building

James A. Serpell is professor of Animal Ethics and Welfare at the University of Pennsylvania. He lectures in the School of Veterinary Medicine on veterinary ethics, applied animal behavior and welfare, and human-animal interactions. Serpell also directs the Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society (CIAS). Serpell was a founder of The International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ) and remains on the board.

After graduating he went to the University of Cambridge and established the Companion Animal Research Group there in 1985. He moved to the University of Pennsylvania in 1993 and teaches there currently. While at the University of Pennsylvania he was part of creating C-BARQ, the first standardized dog behavioral assessment survey.

Serpell's scholarship and research in the area of Anthrozoology is unusual in ranging broadly, including publications on anthropology and the humanities, as well as scientific prospective studies of human-animal interactions. His early book, In the Company of Animals, remains the classic work providing a broad overview of human-animal interactions. Similarly, his edited book, The Domestic Dog (now in 2nd edition) is unquestionably the primary source on dogs' behavior and our interactions with them. Among his many classic research papers is one (the first) documenting increased walking by new Cambridge pet owners after adopting a puppy. Another early study helped explain the source of the widespread compatibility that pet owners feel with their dogs, despite various behavior problems.

Serpell's scholarly leadership was recognized already in 1992 when he was presented the IAHAIO/ISAZ Distinguished Scholar Award. He is a primary leader and founder of the International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ), which publishes Anthrozoos. Acknowledging his consistent contributions to the society, ISAZ appointed him as a Fellow of ISAZ, as one of the inaugural group of Fellows.

Bio obtained from Dr. Serpell's Wikipedia page.