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Prof. Merkham elected president Applied Animal Behavior SIG

Professor Mehrkam Elected President of Applied Animal Behavior SIG

Lindsay Mehrkam, assistant professor of Psychology, was elected president of the Applied Animal Behavior Special Interest Group (SIG) for the Association of Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). The Applied Animal Behavior SIG is one of 40 special interest groups of ABAI, which consists of approximately 9,000 members.

The Applied Animal Behavior SIG brings together individuals who specialize in, or have an interest in, the application of behavior analysis to the care, treatment, welfare, and understanding of animals and their behavior. Their mission is to promote applied animal behavior analytic research, set high standards in methods and techniques of animal training, support those in the applied animal behavior field, and promote the well-being of animals in applied settings.

The group consists of academicians, scientists, researchers, practitioners, and trainers from a variety of disciplines dedicated to, affiliated with, or interested in animal behavior and/or behavior management or behavior therapy with animals. Members work in a wide range of settings, including colleges and universities, animal shelters, zoos and aquariums, clinical settings, among others. The Applied Animal Behavior SIG promotes humane and empirically verified applications of behavior analysis in animal behavior change treatments, and actively promotes the application of behavior analysis to applied animal behavior therapy.

The Applied Animal Behavior SIG also supports student research in the area of applied animal behavior, and offers an annual student research award in honor of Marian Breland Bailey; this competition is open to all graduate and undergraduate students presenting their research during the convention. The Applied Animal Behavior SIG maintains a listserv that provides updates relevant to our field, including ABAI convention information, upcoming conferences, treatment protocol suggestions and commentary, and discussion of current issues.

Mehrkam will join fellow officers Erica Feuerbacher (Virginia Tech) as vice president, Laura Perkins (Laura Perkins Animal Behavior), Kimberly Troung (University of California, San Diego) as social media coordinator, and Megan MacKellar (Sea World, Orlando) as the student representative.

The Applied Animal Behavior SIG website is: The Applied Animal Behavior SIG maintains a Facebook Group for professionals as well.