Meg Daley Olmert will explore the evolution of the human-animal bond as the distinguished lecturer of the 2023 Bustad Lecture at 5 p.m. March 24 in Room 1002 of the Animal Disease Biotech Facility building on the Washington State University Pullman campus. The lecture will also be held virtually.
Olmert’s talk, hosted by the College of Veterinary Medicine and titled “Just realizing: The vital role for animals in the 21st century,” will trace the connections between paleontology, anthropology, psychology, neurobiology and evolutionary genetics that transformed humans from a prey species into a top predator and morphed animals that people could not live with into animals people cannot live without.
Olmert is an expert on the neurobiology of the human-animal bond and its therapeutic effects and the author of “Made for each other: The biology of the human-animal bond.” She currently serves as science advisor to the Warrior Canine Connection Program in Maryland, in addition to science advisor and board member for The Comfort Dog Program of Northern Uganda.
The Bustad Lecture is an annual honor of late veterinarian and longtime WSU College of Veterinary Medicine dean Dr. Leo Bustad, known for his research on the human‑animal bond.