Picture of Dr. Shelly Volsche and her dog Lucy. Photo credit: Priscilla Grover
May. 11, 2022


Shelly Volsche graduated from UNLV with a Ph.D. in 2017. Dr. Volsche is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor and Advising Coordinator for the Department of Anthropology at Boise State Unviersity.


On the Spring of 2021 we reached out to our alumni to ask what they were doing after graduating from UNLV with an Anthropology graduate degree. This was the response:


1. Where are you now?

I am currently a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho. After obtaining my PhD from UNLV, I spent just over a year teaching at UNLV in the First-Year Seminar program, as well as the Department of Anthropology and the Honors College. I joined Boise State as a Lecturer in Fall 2019, and was reclassified as a Clinical Assistant Professor in Fall 2021.


2. Current research/projects?

In addition to teaching and advising students, I run the ECHOS Lab where I work with students of all levels. We explore human-animal relationships and evolutionary cognition in a variety of contexts. One of our larger projects involves a cross-cultural survey of human attachment and caregiving behaviors, including the cross-cultural phenomenon of childfree pet parenting. So far we have or are collecting data from the United States, India, Finland, Japan, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Spain, and Hungary. Our second project explores the coevolutionary processes behind the human-canine bond. Do dogs laugh or is the canine play pant simply a by-product of exertion? We aim to find out. It's a great opportunity for the students as we not only work with dogs and their guardians, we also get to spend time with dogs at the Idaho Humane Society which is an enriching learning opportunity for humans and dogs alike!

As an additional bit - we are excited to host the International Society for Anthrozoology conference this summer, with help from Nikki Bennett - a PhD student at UNLV.
photo with Lucy. please credit Priscilla Grover.

3. What do you do for fun or to unwind in these days of COVID?

During my free time, I love to read, cuddle our aging pug, Lucy, and spend a ton of time outdoors with Lucy and my partner, Jeremy. There are so many great parks and walking paths in Boise, we never get bored.