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Aliya Khalid is an Interdisciplinary PhD student at the University of Saskatchewan, working under the supervision of Dr. Colleen Dell (Department of Sociology) and Dr. Jorden Cummings (Department of Psychology). Her research interests include animal welfare, Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI), and student wellbeing.
For her PhD, Aliya is aiming to explore how participation in an Animal Welfare Education Program (AWEP) can influence attitude towards animal welfare. She is also interested in exploring how AAIs (particularly Canine Assisted Interventions) can improve the physical, psychological, and social wellbeing of students living in university residences. Furthermore, she is curious if being part of an AWEP will influence the AAI outcomes. Considering a One Health approach, Aliya is interested in observing the multifaceted, mutually beneficial effects of such interactions while considering the human-animal-environment triad.
Aliya grew up in Pakistan, which is still in its infancy stages when it comes to the empirical exploration of the Human Animal Bond (HAB) and its wellbeing benefits. She completed her master’s at the Government College University, Lahore. For her thesis, she conducted the first experimental study in Pakistan pertaining to the HAB. The topic of her study was Effect of Pet Interaction on Stress Reduction and Positive Mood Enhancement among Pet-Owners and Non-Owners. Currently, she is part of an international team of researchers exploring the Cross-cultural Differences for Pet-Owner Relationship, Beliefs of Animal Consciousness, and Companion Animal Surrendering in the US, the Netherlands, Pakistan, and Hong Kong. She is also exploring the Impact of Ethical Ideologies on Students’ Attitude toward Animals in Pakistan, in collaboration with a Professor from Maastricht University, The Netherlands. She additionally performs the duties of co-chair for the Equity, Access, Diversity, and Inclusion (IDEA) subcommittee on the Human Animal Interaction Board (Section 13 of Division 17, American Psychological Association).
In the spirit of the Human Animal Bond, Aliya has three cats – Griffin, Fifi, and Snowbie – who she is hoping will join her soon in Canada. She also enjoys a nice balance of coffee, walks (even in winter), books, and board games.