Kristina Horback

Lab Director

Ph.D. Experimental Psychology, University of Southern Mississippi (2012)
Dissertation: Temporal consistency of personality assessment in African elephants

M.A. Experimental Psychology, University of Southern Mississippi (2011)
Thesis: Variations in inter-specific social behavior throughout the estrous cycle of a killer whale

B.A. Psychology, University of California: San Diego (2007)

Dr. Horback is an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science and is a faculty member of the Center for Animal Welfare at UC Davis. She is trained in animal cognition and comparative psychology and uses these skills to assess the psychological welfare (e.g., affective state, behavioral needs) of domestic farm animals and wild animals housed at zoos and aquariums. Specific research topics include how personality traits are related to individual differences in coping ability and cognitive processing.


UC Davis Department of Animal Science

UC Davis College of Biological Sciences

UC Davis Center for Animal Welfare

Maggie Creamer

Graduate Student (PhD Animal Behavior)

B.S. Psychology, University of North Carolina (2016)

Maggie will be assessing how beef cattle personality types influence grazing distribution on extensive rangeland.




Kaleiah Schiller

Graduate Student (PhD Animal Biology)

B.S. Animal Science, University of Wisconsin-River Falls (2017)

Kaleiah will be investigating the relationship between individual differences in stress coping and maternal responsiveness in ewes.



Catie McVey

Graduate Student (PhD Animal Biology)


BSc Animal Science and Statistics, North Carolina State University (2016)

MSc Livestock Systems, Colorado State University (2019)

MAS Applied Statistics, Colorado State University (2019)

Catie will be exploring novel analytical approaches to the evaluation of livestock big data sources (imaging, on-animal sensors, RFID logs) to measure animal welfare and personality.


Researchgate Page