Julie Hecht

Woman with short dark hair smiles while eating soup

Julie Hecht is a PhD student in Animal Behavior and Comparative Psychology, with a focus on companion animals. Her goal is to pursue a line of research that not only expands what is known about companion animals, but also brings animal lovers into the scientific process through citizen science.

Julie has a Masters with distinction in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare. As part of the program she conducted primary research in dog behavior, cognition and welfare. She spent six months in Budapest with the Family Dog Project at Eötvös Loránd University investigating the canine "guilty look." Her research was published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science.  She also conducted primary research at Barnard College on the topics of dog olfactory preferences, dog-human play, common anthropomorphisms, and theory of mind. She has spoken at numerous national and international conferences such as the Canine Science Forum, International Society for Applied Ethology and the Animal Behavior Society. She recently contributed to the ASPCA book, Animal Behavior for Shelter Veterinarians and Staff.

In addition to her research into dog cognition, Julie also communicates scientific findings to the general public. She writes the blog Dog Spies on Scientific American and is a member of the National Association of Science Writers. Julie enjoys bringing canine science to all ages, particularly students, and she recently was a guest presenter on dog behavior and cognition at the World Science Festival. She is frequently asked by the media to weigh in on the dog questions of the day and has been interviewed on numerous radio shows as well as for The New York Times, Fox News, Forbes, Salon, and CUNY TV.

Bio adapted from CUNY Graduate Center: The Sciences Spotlight