Meet the New Researchers! Sunday, June 27th 📅

We're excited to announce that we've brought on a brilliant and talented group of researchers for the summer to help explore and analyze the learner data you've already provided (and will hopefully continue to provide)... and we want you to meet them!

We'll be holding our next TheyCanTalk Research participant call on Sunday, June 27th at 12pm PT, so that active Phase 1 participants can meet the new researchers, ask questions, discuss top level findings, and more.

Calendar invites will be sent out to everyone who has submitted the latest progress report, and more information about the event will be posted in the Research Updates space as we get closer to the 27th.

Look forward to seeing you all again!
Kellie, Leo, Federico and Jack

 Introducing Our Newest Team Members!

Amalia Bastos

Amalia Bastos is a final year PhD candidate in comparative psychology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Before this, she obtained B.A. Hons. in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford. She has previously worked with dogs and three bird species to investigate aspects of physical, social, and numerical cognition in animals. She is looking forward to participating in this forum and helping uncover what animals understand of their communication through a soundboard interface. 

Ashley Evenson 


With over a decade of professional experience working with dogs and other pets, Ashley is very familiar with the multifaceted nature of the human-animal bond. In addition to hands-on experience, she received a formal education in training, learning and behavioral science while obtaining her BA in Anthrozoology. Graduating with honors, her passion for studying human-animal relationships continued and she will soon finish a Master’s in Anthrozoology as well. While “dogs are her people” and have always been her area of expertise, she also has professional and personal experience working with many other animals including cats, horses, rats & other pocket pets, ferrets, goats, pigs, chickens, turkeys, etc. Currently, she has two wonderful dogs. A Papillon named Ducky, who has been her close companion and talented assistant for many years. And Ragnar, a rescued primitive breeds mix that Ashley extensively rehabilitated and trained after he was found as a stray roaming Montana. Passionate about helping others, she is always happy to share her knowledge and do her part bridging the gap between human and animal worlds. 

Gabriella Smith


Gabriella is an animal cognitive researcher with a BA from Boston University in behavioral biology and a MA from Hunter College (CUNY) in animal behavior and conservation. Since starting animal behavior and cognition research in 2016, Gabriella has studied animals such as octopuses, Grey parrots, dogs, and cats. Gabriella is excited to join the How.TheyCanTalk research team to explore topics such as grammar comprehension, emotional expression, and captive animal welfare. You can find Gabriella and pictures of her cat Pancetta on Twitter @Explanimals.

Be sure to check out her recent post Secrets in the midst: the Internet and companion animal science! 

Jenny Stamm

Jenny Stamm is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and a Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI) with over 16 years of experience in different training techniques, many dog breeds and ages, and even with other species beyond dogs. She has always been passionate about animal behavior and is currently pursuing a Master in Anthrozoology from Canisius College. She joined How.TheyCanTalk with the hopes of being able to more clearly communicate with her service dog, Percy, but found that Orion, her retired service dog, was the bigger chatterbox, though her husband’s dog, Hero, has just started talking a bit more, as well. Jenny is excited to join Kellie and the rest of the research team, especially as she can help others figure out more effective ways to communicate with their learners. 

Margaret Asperheim 

Margaret is a fourth-year linguistics undergraduate at UC Berkeley. In the past, she's worked for the Berkeley Language and Cognitive Development Lab doing projects on child language acquisition and cognitive development. She also provides care and husbandry for an animal colony—mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects and more—at a local science museum. She doesn't have a dog or cat unfortunately, but she does have a pet legless lizard! Margaret is excited to combine her research interests in human language and animal behavior, and to discover how well dogs and other nonhuman animals can learn language at CleverPet this summer. 
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