Meet our Team!

Learn more about Dr. O'Haire

Dr. Maggie O'Haire

Associate Professor

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Dr. Kerri Rodriguez

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

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Prisca Mbachu

Research Coordinator

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Rhea Sparrow

Lead Research Assistant

Annika Larson

Annika Larson

Research Assistant

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Marjorie Leblanc

Research Assistant

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Emily Wagoner

Research Assistant

Purdue Cares

Dr. Maggie O'Haire

Dr. Maggie O’Haire

Project Director
Associate Professor of Human-Animal Interaction

My name is Dr. Maggie O’Haire and I am currently an Associate Professor of Human-Animal Interaction in the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University. I earned my BA in Psychology from Vassar College in New York and completed my PhD in Psychology at the University of Queensland in Australia.

My research program, the Organization for Human-Animal Interaction Research (OHAIRE) focuses on the unique ways that humans interact with animals. My previous research topics have included classroom-based, animal-assisted intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder and the effects of service dogs for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and their families. As a professor at Purdue University, I enjoy teaching and mentoring students in my lab.

 


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Dr. Kerri Rodriguez

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

My name is Kerri Rodriguez and I conducted my PhD with the O'Haire Lab from 2015-2020. My dissertation research focused on quantifying both psychosocial and physiological outcomes from PTSD service dogs and mobility and medical service dogs. I am now a postdoctoral fellow at the Human-Animal Bond in Colorado (HABIC) in the School of Social Work at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.

 


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Prisca Mbachu

Research Coordinator

My name is Prisca Mbachu. I joined the OHAIRE Lab in the summer of 2018 and I am currently the new research coordinator. Before advancing to my new role, I worked as an undergraduate research assistant where I contributed to the Canine Assistants study and the OHAIRE Coding System training course. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University in May 2020 and will be starting my Master's in Biomedical Engineering at Purdue this August.

 


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Rhea Sparrow

Lead Research Assistant

My name is Rhea Sparrow and I am a junior at Purdue from Indianapolis, IN. I am pursuing a dual major in Spanish and Brain and Behavioral Sciences. After college I hope to have a career working with kids. When I am not studying, I enjoy hammocking, playing intramural sports, and getting coffee with my friends.

 


Annika Larson

Annika Larson

Research Assistant

Hi! My name is Annika Larson and I am a rising sophomore at Purdue from Zionsville, IN. I am majoring in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences with a minor in Psychology and hope to pursue a career in Animal-Assisted Therapy as a Speech Pathologist. In my free time, I enjoy volunteering at Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding Center, doing yoga, making art, being outside, and getting breakfast with friends!

 


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Marjorie Leblanc

Research Assistant

My name is Marjorie Leblanc. I joined the OHAIRE Lab in August of 2020 and I am currently an undergraduate research assistant. I will graduate in May 2022 with a Bachelor of Science before entering the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine as a student in the Veterinary Scholars Program. I am interested in human-animal interactions as well as animal cognition and welfare; prior to joining the OHAIRE Lab, I spent time researching optimal housing conditions for mice in addition to environmental enrichment for primates in captivity.

 


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Emily Wagoner

Research Assistant

My name is Emily Wagoner, and I am a current senior at Purdue University studying Animal Sciences. I joined the OHAIRE Lab in August of 2020 as a research assistant for the Purdue Canines for Autism Research Study. After graduating in May 2021, I plan to intern with Cru at Purdue, a Christian ministry that I have been involved in since freshman year. In my free time, you will find me spending time outside with friends, going to group exercise classes, or playing my ukulele.

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