about Jessica Hekman
Dr. Jessica Hekman is a postdoctoral associate at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where she researches how genetics affect behavior in pet and working dogs. Jessica received her Ph.D. in Animal Sciences (Genetics, Genomics, and Bioinformatics) in 2017 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she studied canid behavioral genetics. Previously, Jessica graduated from the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 2012 with a dual DVM/MS degree.
Her Master’s work was on the behavior and cortisol responses of healthy dogs to being hospitalized overnight. She also completed a shelter medicine veterinary internship at the University of Florida Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program. Jessica lives in Marlborough, MA with her husband and two dogs: Dashiell, an English Shepherd who does agility, parkour, and rally; and Jenny, a shy mixed breed dog who does parkour.
2019 camp sessions
Day 2: Saturday
4:00PM – 6:00PM ET
Stressed Out: Dogs, Hormones & Stress – LECTURE ONLY (No Working Teams)
What happens in your dog’s brain and body when something scares her? How long can you expect her stress response to last? In this lecture, Jessica Hekman, DVM, PhD, will talk about the stress response in dogs. She will explain the original evolutionary purpose of the stress response; what the hormones involved in it (like cortisol) do in the body; the difference between acute and chronic stress and the different effects they have on dogs’ health; and what we know about how long it takes the body to clear those hormones. You will definitely learn some cool stuff about how the brain works and what that means for your dog’s ability to focus through the stress of something like a trial environment! Jessica loves to take questions, so look forward to a lively Q&A.