Dr. Jessica Hekman
Jessica is a veterinary researcher who is fascinated by dog behavior. After eleven years working as a computer programmer, she decided to go back to school to research the causes of behavior problems in dogs. She received her veterinary degree in 2012 from the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts, where she also received a Master’s degree for her work on stress behaviors in hospitalized dogs. After graduation, she completed a year-long internship specializing in shelter medicine at the University of Florida Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program. She received her PhD in genetics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, studying a group of foxes (often known as the “Siberian silver foxes”) which have been bred over many generations to be friendly to humans. She has worked at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard as a computational biologist, studying the genetics of behavior in pet dogs through the Darwin’s Ark project and the Working Dogs Project. Today, she runs the Functional Dog Collaborative, a non-profit group which supports ethical breeding of healthy and behaviorally solid dogs. She also frequently teaches online classes and webinars about canine genetics and behavior. Jessica lives in Raymond, NH with her husband and three dogs.