Our Speakers

Jody Ambrose

An avid equestrian since the age of six, Jody has competed extensively in multiple disciplines, earning an individual Junior Olympic medal and the United States Dressage Federation gold, silver and bronze medals. After graduating from UCSD Jody remained in San Diego, becoming a well-respected dressage trainer and coach. She was inspired by her close relationships with several dog and zoo trainers (including her mother and her childhood friend, Megan) to incorporate more humane, evidence-based methods into her work with horses and riders. In 2006 she became an early adopter of the cutting-edge, positive-reinforcement based coaching technology  TAGteach, and achieved an expert-level certification from TAGteach International the following year.

She and her two rescue dogs Toad and Aero are certified as goal-directed therapy partners, and she has volunteered countless hours to service dog organizations as well as to owner-trained assistance animal teams. Having relocated to Sonoma County  in 2015 in search of grass pastures for her 18 hand warmblood “Q” (short for “Res-Q”), she recently joined the board of the non-profit Equitopia Centre, and is partnering with them to develop online and hands-on educational resources for horse owners. .

Ann Brooks, MPA, BA

1980-2005: Director, Special Events (Office of the Secretary of Defense and U.S. Secret Service). Managed federal government support to a wide variety of international events such as Olympics, Inaugurals, Summits and other major events.

From 1999-2002, Director of Planning and Resources, Utah Olympic Public Safety Command.

From 2000-Present: Co-Founder and President of the Phoenix Landing Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to adoption, education and welfare for parrots. Phoenix Landing has rehomed over 2,600 birds, and hosts about 100 events every year, including a national conference every 2nd year.

Education: MPA, USC-California; BA Trinity University

Mychelle Blake, MSW, CDBC

Mychelle Blake is the Project Manager for the IAABC and is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) through IAABC. She has been a regular contributor on cat and dog behavior for the Pet Health Network since 2014. She also served for many years as editor for both the IAABC and the APDT journals, as well as working for several years for the APDT. Currently she also serves as the Web News Content Editor and Web/Social Media Coordinator for the United States Dog Agility Association. She runs her own web development and design and social media consulting company, www.firelinkonline.com, which specializes in affordable, effective web sites and online presence building for small businesses and the pet industry.

Mychelle also has over 13 years’ experience working in animal sheltering both as a staff member and a volunteer, and is passionate about promoting training and behavioral health for dogs and cats to increase adoptions and reduce pet relinquishments. She has a Masters of Social Welfare from UCLA with a specialty in community organizing, development and planning and a Bachelors in Political Science from New York University. Mychelle lives in Las Vegas, NV with her husband and three pit bull mixes: Kaylee, Jack and Odie. A portfolio of her pet-related writing can be found at www.bheanmadra.com.

Brian Burton, CDBC

Brian Burton is the Co-Founder of Instinct Dog Behavior & Training LLC in New York, New York. He has worked with hundreds of owners and dogs with aggression, fear, and anxiety issues. His primary role with Instinct is Behavior Consulting. Brian is currently working toward his MA in Animal Behavior & Conservation at Hunter College. Brian grew up fearful of dogs but overcame his fear and found a lifelong passion through shelter and rescue group volunteer work.

He owns a 1-year old rescue rat terrier mix, Joey, currently in training. Brian’s previous rat terrier mix, Sammy, CD, CGC, RAE2 finished as the top-ranking mixed breed in the 2013 and 2014 AKC Rally National Championships.

Mikel Delgado

Mikel Maria Delgado is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant and worked as a full time Cat Behavior Specialist at the San Francisco SPCA for several years before co-founding Feline Minds. She has been interviewed for Cat Fancy, the New York TimesWashington PostSlate, and the Huffington Post and has done presentations on cat behavior at the Bay Area Pet Fair and the Exploratorium Museum of Science.

Mikel is currently a PhD Candidate at UC Berkeley in the Psychology Department, where she studies animal behavior, and human-pet relationships. She has presented research on the welfare of laboratory pigeons, human attitudes about domestic cats, learning in zebrafish and pigeons, and emotions and decision making in squirrels at several academic conferences. She served on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants for four years, and is a former Co-Chair of their Cat Division. Mikel also co-runs the website Food Puzzles For Cats. She lives in Berkeley with her boyfriend and their two rescue cats.

Dr. Scott Echols DVM, Dipl ABVP

Echols Scott Curriculum Vitae


Sarah Fraser, CDBC

Sarah Fraser is the Co-Founder of Instinct Dog Behavior & Training LLC in New York, New York. She has worked with hundreds of owners and dogs with aggression, fear, and anxiety issues. Her primary role with Instinct is Behavior Consulting. Sarah is currently working toward her MA in Animal Behavior & Conservation at Hunter College. She has been volunteering at animal shelters for much of her life.

Sarah owns an 11 year old rescue pit bull, Buster, CD, CGC, RN; a 3 year old rescue American Bulldog mix, Mozeez, RN, CGC, who finished as the top-ranking mixed breed in the Novice category at the 2015 AKC Rally National Championship; and a newly rescued 2 year old pit bull mix, Will, currently in training.

Susan Friedman, PhD

Susan G. Friedman, Ph.D. is a professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology at Utah State University. She has helped pioneer the cross-species application of behavior analysis to animals, using the same humane philosophy and scientifically sound teaching technology that has been so effective with human learners. Susan has co-authored chapters on behavior change in four veterinary texts, and her popular articles have been translated into 13 languages. She gives seminars on animal learning at conferences and zoos around the world, is a member of Karen Pryor’s Clicker Expo faculty, and teaches yearly hands-on animal training workshops with Steve Martin (www.naturalencounters.com).

Susan is the Parrot Division Chairperson of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of American Humane Association (AHA) Film and TV Unit, and a member in good standing of ABAI, AZA, ABMA and IAATE. This year She was included on the Vet Tech College’s list of “15 Animal Professors to Know.”

Susan’s acclaimed on-line course, Living and Learning with Animals for behavior professionals, has provided even wider dissemination of effective, humane behavior change practices to students in over 30 countries (www.behaviorworks.org).

Dr. Lore I. Haug, DVM, MS, DACVB, CABC

Dr. Haug graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in 1993.  She completed a one year internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. In 2002, she completed a Master’s Degree and residency program in animal behavior at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine.  She ran the Animal Behavior Service at Texas A&M from 2002-2007 and then move to Sugar Land, TX to begin a private referral practice.

Dr. Haug speaks frequently across the country at veterinary and animal behavior venues, with an emphasis on canine, feline, and equine behavior. Dr. Haug also has a special interest in neurobiology, behavior modification, and pharmacology. She has published articles in several veterinary journals and is a chapter author in several books.

She is currently the Immediate Past President of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and is a long standing member, and past Chair, of the ACVB Examination Committee.  Dr. Haug is also a certified consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.

Jill Hourihan

Jill Hourihan is the owner of several animal-related, service-based businesses in the Greater Boston area, including dog walking, training, and behavior services. Since 2006 and as a sole proprietor, Jill has been able to grow her operations into a portfolio of financially successful businesses with a staff of 40. These include The Pet Republic training facility, Metro Pets boutique and self wash facility, organizing, arranging and overseeing training and behavior private lessons and consults, and Running the Pack Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Service.

Known for her business acumen, Jill frequently mentors other animal-related, service-based businesses. Topics of specialty include: the buying and selling companies, negotiations, diversification, leveraging technologies and the creation of custom marketing strategies.

More than anything, Jill enjoys learning what her business clients of any size do and don’t enjoy, and how they can build upon each individual’s strengths to create the business they want.

Katenna Jones, MA, ACAAB, CABC

Through her business Jones Animal Behavior, Katenna Jones provides private dog and cat behavior consulting services, group classes, and seminars at both local and national events. Katenna is the former Director of Educational Programs for the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, Animal Behaviorist for the American Humane Association, and Behaviorist and Investigator for the RISPCA.

She has been involved in animal sheltering and rescue since 2000, is a disaster responder, is author of Fetching the Perfect Dog Trainer: Getting the Best for You and Your Dog and has contributed to numerous local and national publications. Katenna earned her Master’s from Brown University where she studied animal behavior, learning and cognition. She is an Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Certified Cat and Dog Behavior Consultant, and Certified Pet Dog Trainer.

She shares her RI home with her husband, two adopted cats, and adopted dog.

Adria Karlsson, MAT, EdS

Adria Karlsson, MAT, EdS, is an Applied Behavior Analyst and Certified Dog Behavior Consultant working out of Cambridge, MA. Her main focus professionally is on dogs and cats, but she finds the behavior of any species of animal, particularly humans, is endlessly fascinating. Her early professional training was in elementary education and working with dyslexic children. When she adopted a dog, Beskow, with behavioral issues she soon became immersed in the world of dog training. As Beskow’s issues became more pronounced she began to seek out and meet with different trainers and consultants in New England. It soon became obvious that this was a new calling and through volunteering, assisting, and teaching at the MSPCA in Boston while completing a second masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at Simmons, she moved completely into the world of animal training.

Since then, she has continued to pursue further education through conferences, professional workshops (including getting to work with birds at Natural Encounters, Inc!), and courses (including Living and Learning with Animals and TagTeach).

Currently she is working for herself through her business (Dog Willing), mentoring for the IAABC Principles and Practice course, collaborating with the Darwin’s Dogs project, and raising four young sons alongside her two dogs and two cats.

Dr. Elinor Karlsson

Elinor Karlsson is an assistant professor in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the director of the Vertebrate Genomics Group at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. She is excited by the potential for using our own evolutionary history to understand how the human genome works, and in how that knowledge can lead to advances in healthcare. By investigating evolutionary history using high throughput genomic tools, Elinor aims to identify genes, pathways, and functional variants underlying polygenic traits, including susceptibility to infectious diseases, like cholera and viral hemorrhagic fevers, as well as psychiatric disorders (using dogs as a model organism).

Elinor received her B.A. in biochemistry/cell biology from Rice University, and earned her Ph.D. in bioinformatics from Boston University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University before starting the Karlsson Lab at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2014.

Trish McMillan Loehr, MA

Trish McMillan Loehr, MA is a certified professional dog trainer (through CCPDT) and certified dog behavior counselor (through IAABC) who holds a Master’s degree in Animal Behavior from the University of Exeter in England. She specializes in training and behavior modification work with dogs, cats, and horses.

During her seven years with the ASPCA, Trish gained a wide variety of experience in the field of animal behavior. For three years she was the director of the animal behavior department at the ASPCA’s New York City shelter, helping staff, volunteers, and adopters work with animals and make great matches. Trish has also helped assess and rehabilitate animals from cruelty, hoarding, and dogfighting cases, as well as pets rescued from natural disasters. In addition to writing for the ASPCA’s Virtual Pet Behaviorist and other publications, she helped create and present several very popular webinars on dog and cat behavior and handling for the ASPCA Pro website.

Prior to her work with the ASPCA, Trish managed dog daycares, volunteered in animal shelters, taught obedience classes, and worked with board-and-train dogs in her home. She has also trained and shown horses in various disciplines, and has begun incorporating clicker training in her equine work. Trish has also worked with cats with behavior problems, and enjoys helping our feline friends have more enriched lives through clicker training as well. (Yes, cats can be trained!)

Trish has also spoken nationally and internationally on animal behavior and sheltering topics.

Trish and her husband Barry live in Weaverville, NC (near Asheville) and currently share their lives with three amazing dogs, two sweet cats, and a genius horse.

Dr. Kathryn Lord

Kathryn Lord is currently a postdoctoral associate in the Karlsson lab at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Her main interest is in the evolutionary development of animal behavior, and its application to the management of domestic and wild species. In her graduate work in organismic and evolutionary biology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Kathryn’s work focused on how changes in developmental timing act as a mechanism for the evolution of adaptive behaviors in animals. Since receiving her doctorate Kathryn has served as a visiting assistant professor of biology at Gettysburg College, and visiting assistant professor of animal behavior at Hampshire College.

Dr. Christopher Pachel, DVM, DACVB

Dr. Christopher Pachel, DVM, DACVB received his veterinary degree from the University of MN in 2002 and worked as a general practitioner for two years in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area prior to the start of his residency program.  He operated a house-call behavior practice in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area until 2010 and became board certified by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists in 2010.

He is currently the owner of the Animal Behavior Clinic in Portland, OR, lectures regularly throughout the US and Canada, and has taught courses in veterinary behavior at the University of MN and at the Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.  He has published research on feline water consumption preferences, wrote a book chapter on Intercat Aggression for the May 2014 issue of Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, and is co-author of an forthcoming book chapter on Pet Selection for Animal Assisted Therapy.

Dilara Göksel Parry

Dilara Goksel Parry grew up in Istanbul, Turkey and holds degrees in Psychology and in Comparative Literature from Oberlin College. She has worked with animals since 1991, and was the Cat Behavior Program Coordinator at the San Francisco SPCA for over 12 years. Dilara is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant, and has been interviewed by msnbc.com, Animal Sheltering magazine, catchannel.com, KittensUSA, The Daily Cat, served on the Best Friends/No More Homeless Pets Forums, and written for Maddie’s Fund. She has also been called on as an expert witness in a Massachussetts lawsuit relating to cat behavior. She shares her life in Richmond, CA with her family of humans, dogs, and cats and chickens.

Megan Phillips

When Megan began her career as a zoo intern while still in high school, positive-reinforcement training was not yet the norm in exotic animal management. After helping pioneer and publish a groundbreaking trading project with skittish African antelope in the early 1990’s, she remained at the forefront of an industry-wide shift toward more humane, science-based methods for more than 20 years. She went on to work with a broad range of exotic animal species, including black rhinos, African lions, spotted hyenas and bottlenose dolphins as well as to train numerous other trainers and animal caretakers.

In 2006, Megan began offering her unique training expertise as a consultant for dog, horse and cat owners. She achieved her dog training certification in 2007 and became certified by IAABC in 2013. Having returned to her home state of Colorado in 2012, she now partners with the non-profit feline rescue Look What the Cat Brought In, as well as her local humane society, to offer behavior education and surrender prevention. She is also collaborating with a number of veterinary clinics to develop early kitten socialization programs.

Michael Shikashio, CDBC

Michael Shikashio, CDBC, is the president of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), and provides private consultations working with dog aggression cases through his business Complete Canines LLC. Michael is fully certified through the IAABC, is a full member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), and is a mentor trainer for Animal Behavior College. Michael also offers mentoring and training to other professionals.

Michael is sought after for his expert opinion by numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, New York Post, Baltimore Sun, WebMD, Women’s Health Magazine, Real Simple Magazine, The Chronicle of the Dog, and Steve Dale’s Pet World.

He is a featured speaker on the topic of canine aggression at conferences and seminars across the country, and he currently teaches courses through The Dog Trainers Connection and the IAABC.

Michael resides in Mystic, CT and enjoys coastal life with his wife, two boys, and three dogs.

Kristyn Vitale Shreve, MEn

Kristyn Vitale Shreve, MEn is a National Science Foundation Research Fellow currently pursuing a PhD in Animal Sciences at Oregon State University. She is a graduate of Kent State University, earning both a B.S. in Zoology and a B.A. in Social Geography. She received a Master’s in Environmental Science from Miami University where her thesis examined social behaviors between free-roaming colony cats. She has worked with cats for over 10 years in a variety of contexts including as a Trap Neuter Release volunteer, shelter worker, cat trainer, and researcher studying cat behavior.

She currently conducts research in the Oregon State University Human-Animal Interaction Lab where she examines cat social cognition and leads kitten training classes. For more information visit her website at www.maueyes.com.