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Animal Behavior Society
Animal Behavior Society

Working towards a better understanding of animal behavior

Applied Animal Behavior


The field of Applied Animal Behavior specializes in the behavior of companion animals, the behavior of farm, zoo and laboratory animals and studies of the behavior of wild animals when these studies are relevant from an applied perspective, as well as methodological studies.





What is Applied Animal Behavior?

Applied animal behavior is a field focused on applying our understanding of animal behavior to:

  • Improve the welfare and care of animals
  • Help humans have a better understanding of animal behavior as it may apply to their everyday lives
  • Advance research in deeper scholarly understanding of animal behavior as it applies to animals in wild, captivity, laboratories

Who are Applied Animal Behaviorists?

Applied animal behaviorists are scientists, educators, or other animal professionals with an advanced academic background in the principles of animal behavior. Applied animal behaviorists may have a background in fields as diverse as psychology, biology, zoology, veterinary medicine, or animal sciences. They may work in laboratories, zoos, farms, animal shelters, universities, corporations, or as private consultants (and beyond!). What applied animal behaviorists have in common is the application of scientific principles to improving the care, management and welfare of animals in captivity and the wild.

To promote the field of applied animal behavior, the Animal Behavior Society:

  • Hosts an applied behavior symposium at its yearly conference.
  • Offers public education programs during the yearly conference.
  • Publishes research related to applied animal behavior through its journal.
  • Offers a certification program for applied animal behavior professionals.
  • Act as a resource for media inquiries and speaking engagements.

Thank you to Dr. Briana Gaskill, Dr. Allison Greggor, Dr. Stephen Ross, and Dr. Lydia Hopper for contributing content.