Netzin Steklis

Associate Professor of Practice

Assistant Director, Stakeholder Relations and External Programs

Dr. Netzin Steklis is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the School of Animal & Comparative Biomedical Sciences and the University of Arizona. She is originally from west Texas where she grew-up as a “wild-child” exploring the Rio Grande and living in a Mexican-American household where she experienced a bi-cultural education in El Paso and Juarez. Her higher education reflects her multidisciplinary interests in human and non-human animal behavior: She holds a B.A. in Anthropology (Biology emphasis) from the University of Chicago, an M.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University, and a Ph.D. in Ethology & Evolutionary Psychology from University of Arizona. Dr. Steklis has studied a variety of nonhuman primates in captive and wild settings, in particular the ecology, social behavior and conservation of wild mountain gorillas in Rwanda. For more than 10 years she served as the Director of Scientific Information Resources for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, a non-profit organization dedicated to gorilla research and conservation in Africa. More recently she has expanded her research and academic focus to include the biopsychology of human-animal interrelationships. This growing interest in the field of Human-Animal Interaction (HAI), and the realization of a need for well-controlled research studies, also led to the co-founding and co-directing in 2014 of the Human-Animal Interaction Research Initiative (HAIRI) at the University of Arizona. HAIRI aims to train undergraduate and graduate students to evaluate reported claims in HAI by engaging them in all stages of research on HAI projects. Dr. Netzin Steklis frequently participates in workshops/committees related to education pedagogy, and even earned a University of Arizona - Graduate Certificate in College Teaching, reflecting her abiding commitment to excellence in undergraduate teaching. She co-developed and teaches courses with her husband and colleague, Dr. H. Dieter Steklis, including a large General Education course on Human & Animal Interrelationships (including co-authoring a textbook “Human-Animal Interrelationships”, Kendall-Hunt Publishing), courses on animal ethology and ethics, primate captive management, and a Primate Studied Field School in Rwanda (Summer Study Abroad). Netzin Steklis shares her life and adventures with her husband, two adult sons (and field assistants), and a variety of animals over her lifetime (dogs, horses, birds, hamsters, mice, chameleons….etc). Current CV

Offering Research Opportunities?


Prerequisite Courses

prefer if students had ACBS 160 Human and Animal Interrelationships

Majors Considered

Animal Sciences Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Anthropology Psychology Family Studies and Human Development

Types of Opportunities

Description of Opportunity

No description given

Start Date

August 2014

Primary Department

Affiliated Departments

Research Location