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Clinical Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Boise State University

Shelly Volsche is inspired by the human-animal bond. She has long wondered about our ability to connect with other species, and her research and writing explore our ever-changing relationships with nonhuman animals, particularly dogs. Her current projects investigate the increasing importance of pets as family members, cross-cultural comparisons of pet keeping and attachment, and the connection between reduced fertility and increased investment in companion animals. She also investigates the coevolution of communication systems in humans and companion animals, particularly during play or attention seeking behaviors. Her work has been featured in the media (e.g., National Geographic, BBC), on multiple radio outlets (e.g., NPR’s Fresh Air), and on podcasts (e.g., DogLab with Brian Burton). During her off time, Shelly can be found roaming with her husband and small dog or volunteering at the Idaho Humane Society.

Volsche is a Lecturer at Boise State University where she teaches courses on evolution and behavior, domestication, and our deep-rooted connection to other species. She also heads the Evolutionary Connections of Humans and Other Species (ECHOS) Lab at Boise State.


  • –present
    Lecturer, Boise State University


  • 2017 
    University of Nevada, Las Vegas, PhD Anthropology