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Megan Callahan

 Name: Megan Callahan          Degree:  PhD Candidate


I am a PhD student at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability under the supervision of Dr. Terre Satterfield. I received my undergraduate degree in Environmental Analysis from Pomona College in Southern California. As a native of Seattle, Washington, a return to the Pacific maritime region was welcome after my time in the sunny south.

My current research involves exploring the numerous different relationships between humans and animals. My work seeks to embrace an interdisciplinary approach as I hope to combine various fields of research including animal welfare, ethics, psychology, social issues, legislation, and literature. My work will delve into understanding not just the different relationships between humans and animals, but the perceptions that humans have toward animals, as well as exploring some specific cases. My research is an expansion on my Masters work, which was also completed at UBC. It looked at the human-animal interface found within zoos and sought to explore the effectiveness of conservation through a species-based evaluation as well as identifying successes and challenges that individual institutions faced.
My special affinity for wildlife began early in childhood, as I shared my home with a constant succession of furry, feathered, or finned friends. My time spent working at a wildlife rehabilitation center combined with my collegiate studies solidified my interest in animal-human interactions. TerreWEB’s emphasis on communication within diverse groups fits well into this truly interdisciplinary area. I have already seen the positive effects of these communication tools, and have experienced the camaraderie and support of all involved with the TerreWEB program in my Masters work. I am looking forward to continuing with and contributing to the program with my current research.

Thesis Topic: Human-Animal Relations and the Changing Nature of Conservation Initiatives: From Zoos through Parks and Protected Area

Supervisor: Dr. Terre Satterfield


Callahan, M (2013). Lions and tigers and bears: An investigation of the state of conservation in zoos. circle: UBC’s Digital Repository: Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) 2008+. Available at: https://circle.ubc.ca/handle/2429/45333

Echeverri, A. and Callahan, M. M. Satterfield, T., Chan, K., and Zhao, J. (2015). Evaluating implicit and explicit preferences toward biomes and endangered species and their relation with the willingness to pay for conservation.


Callahan, M. Lions and Tigers and Przewalski’s Horse: Conservation Issues in Zoos Today. March 7, 2013. TerreWEB Seminar Series, University of British Columbia.

Callahan, M. Lions and Tigers and Bears (and People?): Examining the Relationship Between Humans and Animals. February 9, 2015. Green College Member Series, University of British Columbia.

Conference Presentations & Poster:
Callahan, M. (2014, Nov). Attitudes in zoo conservation: A ‘novel’ approach. Poster session presented at TerreWEB Open House, Vancouver, BC.

Callahan, M. (2016). Balancing Species’ Conservation and Charisma: The Role of Zoos in Preservation Funding. Paper presented at the meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting.

See Megan’s 3MT presentation from the Finals below:

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