Human – Animal

a multidisciplinary approach from
behavioral and social sciences

Barcelona, 7th – 10th of July, 2016
​ ​
Vision, Goals and Objectives

Animals were domesticated thousands of years ago and are now present in almost every human society around the world. Nevertheless, only recently scientists have begun to analyse both positive and negative aspects of human-animal relationships.

For centuries people have recognised the value of animals for obvious economical reasons, but also as an important source of physical and emotional wellbeing. Indeed, people’s attitudes towards animals depend on a variety of factors, including socio-economical relationships with each particular species, cultural background, religious believes, as well as individual differences regarding behaviour and personality. A proper understanding of these differences requires a multidisciplinary approach, from psychology, social psychology and anthropology to psychiatry and neuroscience.

The main goal of the conference would be to provide delegates with an updated and multi-disciplinary overview of human-animal interactions. Selected topics would include but are not limited to:

- The concept of empathy in the study of human-animals interactions.
- The concept of protected values (or sacred values) in human-animal interactions.
- Understanding cultural views on animals.

We will also organise a Satellite Meeting (10th of July) on the state of the art of the abandonment of companion animals and global strategies to prevent the abandonment.



Conference Fees until 4th of April from 5th of April
ISAZ non-members 250.00€ 295.00€
ISAZ members 175.00€ 200.00€
Student ISAZ members 160.00€ 180.00€

7th of July, evening
Welcome ceremony

The welcome ceremony will be held in the evening of July the 7th at the Barcelona City Hall in “Saló de Cent”, a gothic room built in the 14th century


10th of July
Satellite meeting

The satellite meeting will offer an updated overview of the abandonment of companion animals, including topics like epidemiology of animal abandonment, animal welfare in shelters, factors of animal abandonment, or tools for successful adoptions


11th of July (optional)
Visit to the Mona Foundation

The Mona Foundation is a non-profit entity aimed to save wild primates that have been illegally captured and are being used for commercial and personal purposes under bad living conditions. The foundation has established a centre for the recovery of primates at 70 km from Barcelona surrounded by nature which serves as a home for rescued primates and a place to understand and respect wild animals and the fact that they must live in their natural habitat.





7th July

Welcome Ceremony

Sala Martí L’Humà
Museu d'Història de Barcelona
(view map)


8th July

Registration at the PRBB


Opening address


Keynote speaker:
Dr. Roman Witting (Max Planck Institute)

Bonds, cooperation and prosociality in wild chimpanzees.


Oral Presentations

Session 1


Coffee Break/Poster session


Oral Presentations

Session 2


Lunch at the PRBB/Poster session


Keynote speaker:
Dr. Oscar Vilarroya (Autonomous University of Barcelona)

The study of protected values in human-animal interactions.


Oral Presentations

Session 3


Coffee Break/Poster session


Oral Presentations

Session 4


Conference Dinner


9th July

Registration at the PRBB


Keynote speaker:
Dr. Harold Herzog (Western California University)

Communicating what we know (and don’t know) about human-animal relationships.


Oral Presentations

Session 5


Coffee Break/Poster session


Oral Presentations

Session 6


Lunch at the PRBB/Poster session


Waltham session - NIH Sponsored Research


Oral Presentations

Session 7


Coffee Break/Poster session


ISAZ Annual General Meeting. Conference wrap up and awards



Satellite meeting on animal abandonment
Josep Marull Lecture Hall, Campus Mar (Autonomous University of Barcelona)

Opening address:
Peter Sandøe (University of Copenhagen - Denmark) and Jaume Fatjó (Autonomous University of Barcelona - Spain)

Companion animal abandonment: size and ethical dimensions of the problem.


Keynote Speaker:
Kate Nattrass Atema (International Companion Animal Management Coalition)

Are We Making a Difference?: ICAM guidance for monitoring and evaluating dog population management interventions.


Keynote Speaker:
Jolanda Pluijmakers (Davalon - The Netherlands)

Long term housing of dogs and cats in shelters: welfare issues.


Open discussion:
Controversies in animal welfare in shelters: euthanasia.

Moderator: Peter Sandøe
Kate Nattrass Atema, Jolanda Pluijmakers


Coffee break

Keynote Speaker:
Pauleen Bennett (La Trobe University – Australia)

Animal abandonment and adoption: insights from studies on the human-animal bond.


Keynote speaker:
Antoni Bulbena (Autonomous University of Barcelona - Spain)

Compassion fatigue and burnout in animal shelters.


Open discussion:
Controversies on psychological aspects of animal abandonment, adoption and shelter management.

Moderator: James Serpell (University of Pennsylvania - USA)
Pauleen Bennett, Antoni Bulbena


Closing summary:
Peter Sandøe and Jaume Fatjó

Plenary talks (3)

The study of protected values in human-animal interactions

Dr. Oscar Vilarroya
(Professor of Psychiatry, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)

Bonds, Cooperation and Prosociality in Wild Chimpanzees

Dr. Roman Wittig
(Research Group Leader, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute, Germany)

Communicating What We Know (and Don’t Know) About Human-Animal Relationships

Dr. Hal Herzog
(Professor of Psychology, Western Carolina University, USA)





Dr. Oscar Vilarroya

Oscar Vilarroya, M.D Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), where he is the director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Unit (URNC) as well as director of the “Social Brain” Chair.

He is also the coordinator of the Neuroimaging Research Group (NRG) at the Fundació IMIM.

Dr. Vilarroya has made contributions in theoretical neurobiology and neuroimaging, and he has also been active in scientific popularization.

He has published scientific essays (e.g. The Dissolution of Mind (Rodopi, 2002), articles in indexed journals, and has obtained funds from different national and international institutions.

Under his direction, the UAB “Social Brain” Chair has helped in approaching social neuroscience to the general public, through high-level scientific meetings and activities (Social Brain Matters (Rodopi 2007); Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, volumes 1167 and 1299).



Dr. Roman Wittig

Roman Wittig received his PhD in 2004 from the University of Leipzig, Germany.

After research positions in the Biology Department at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA, and in the School of Psychology at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, he returned to Leipzig in 2011 to take the position as director of the Taï Chimpanzee Project.

Since 2013 he is head of the research group on chimpanzees within the Department of Primatology in the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

His research investigates the evolutionary roots of social cognition and social bonds and examines the hormonal and functional underpinnings of social interactions.

He combines behavioural observations of wild primates, with field experiments and non-invasive hormone sampling, to uncover the social complexity of chimpanzees and bonobos in the wild.


Most important publications for the talk:

Wittig, RM., Crockford, C., et al. (2015) Single aggressive interactions increase urinary glucocorticoid levels in wild male chimpanzees. PLoS One, 10:e0118695

Wittig, RM., Crockford, C., et al. (2014) Food sharing is linked to urinary oxytocin levels and bonding in related and unrelated wild chimpanzees. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 281:20133096

Crockford, C., Wittig, RM., et al. (2013) Urinary oxytocin and social bonding in related and unrelated wild chimpanzees. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 280:20122765

Crockford, C., Wittig, RM., et al. (2012) Wild chimpanzees inform ignorant group members of danger. Current Biology, 22:142 - 146



Dr. Hal Herzog

Professor of Psychology, Western Carolina University, USA



(Extension of abstract submission deadline till 29th February)


The International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ) invites submission of both oral (20 minutes total) and poster abstracts.

The Conference will focus on the general theme of exploring human-animal interactions following a multidisciplinary approach from behavioral and social sciences, although free papers on other relevant topics are also encouraged.


Research abstracts must include

1. A list of authors (presenting author in bold), institutional affiliations, and email address for correspondence.

2. An introduction to the study and its objectives.

3. Methodology – including a description of the participants (both human and animal), such as number (n), type, age, gender, and species, and a description of the study design, data collection, and data analysis.

4. Main results, including, when appropriate, statistical test, significance level and actual test value (e.g., F(df) = ?, p < 0.05). 5. Principal conclusions and implications for the field.


Critical review abstracts must include

1. List of authors (presenting author in bold), institutional affiliations, and email address for correspondence.

2. An introduction to the review and its objectives.

3. Key literature references to theory, concepts, evidence or methodology that have been reviewed or re-evaluated.

4. Main findings.

5. Principal conclusions and implications for the field.

Abstracts must be in English, can be no longer than 350 words, and should be concise, informative and explicit. All abstracts should be prepared in MS Word format and state clearly whether an oral or poster presentation is preferred. Abstracts for oral presentations that are not selected may be eligible for presentation as posters. A sample abstract is provided for reference below. Abstracts must be submitted through the Oxford Abstracts platform




There are two student awards: best oral presentation and best poster presentation. The requirements to participate in these awards are the following:

1. The student must be a student member of ISAZ.

2. The student must be the first author of the abstract.

3. The student must apply for the award through the abstract submission system

Recomended Hotels
(With special rates for ISAZ conference delegates including a shuttle service from the hotel to the conference venue)

Evenia Roselló

The Hotel Evenia Rosselló is located in the commercial and business center of Barcelona, a short walk from Paseo de Gracia (where Gaudi masterpieces are located) and 10 minutes from the Plaza Catalunya.

C/ Rosselló 191
08036 Barcelona

Gallery BCN

Located in Barcelona city centre, Gallery Hotel is only a few meters from Paseo de Gracia and Plaza Cataluña nearby. Its wonderful location in the center of Barcelona, allows you to easily walk to the city’s main places of tourist interest.

C/ Rosselló 249
08008 Barcelona

Other Recomended Hotels
(Next to the conference venue, no special rates for ISAZ conference delegates, you should book with the hotel)

Arts BCN

Carrer de la Marina 19-21
08005 Barcelona

SB Icaria BCN

Avda. Icària 195
08005 Barcelona

Pullman BCN Skipper

Avda. Litoral 10
08005 Barcelona


Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB)

The park, with 55,000 square metres on the Barcelona waterfront, has become one of the main biomedical research hubs in southern Europe. It employs over 1,300 people hailing from more than 50 countries.



The City

Barcelona is the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain and Spain's second most populated city, with a population of 1.6 million within its administrative limits. Its urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 4.7 million people, being the sixth-most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. It is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres (1,680 ft) high.

Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon. Besieged several times during its history, Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural center and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites





A/A Maria Torrens
C/ Teodora Lamadrid, 52, Esc E – Entl 2ª
08022 Barcelona
+34 699 857 469