Peta Clarke lives and breaths the animals she works with. With over twenty years experience working as a professional animal trainer in a variety of settings both in Australia and America, she has engulfed herself during that time in the practical and theoretical application of reinforcement training in the training and care of literally thousands of animals. While Peta’s first love is working with dogs, her experiences in the field of animal training range from elephants to goldfish. As a trainer and presenter of animal shows in zoos on several continents, she has had the opportunity to work with many exotic animals, but has focused her work in this area on working with free-flighted birds and marine mammals.
Peta also runs her own animal training and consultancy business, Animal Training Solutions based out of Sydney, Australia. Peta consults on both pet dog and parrot behaviour and training issues for companion owners and consults extensively with wildlife parks and zoos worldwide on improved training practices and show development.
Peta Clarke is a Nationally Accredited Trainer, holding her Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and is a sought-after lecturer, teaching Certificate level animal training and behaviour courses for aspiring animal trainers and an invited lecturer for many dog training clubs, zoos, and other private organisations.
Dr Kate Mornement is an Applied Animal Behaviourist, consultant, expert witness, educator and media spokesperson. She has a PhD in canine behaviour, from Monash University, and a Bachelor of Science with first class honours in zoology (Animal Behaviour) from La Trobe University. Kate’s PhD investigated the assessment of shelter dog behaviour to determine adoption suitability, particularly in Australia. She has presented her research at national and international conferences and has published four papers on her findings in the scientific literature. Since 2004, Kate has consulted pet owners experiencing behavioural difficulties with their dogs, cats and parrots through her business Pets Behaving Badly. She has also provided consulting services and professional development seminars and workshops for people who work with animals in shelters, council pounds, veterinary clinics, doggy daycare, local Government, aquarium and research facilities. Kate is also regularly sought as an expert witness in menacing and dangerous dog cases in Victoria. She has previously worked at RSPCA Victoria, the Animal Welfare Science Centre, Box Hill Institute and the Anthrozoology Research Group at Monash and LaTrobe Universities in research and teaching roles. Kate is an Associate Editor of the Open Access journal Pet Behaviour Science and an active member of the Australian Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), the Association of Animal Behaviour Professionals (AABP) and the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants (IAABC).
Ken Ramirez is the Executive Vice-President and Chief Training Officer of Karen Pryor Clicker Training where he oversees the vision, development and implementation of training education programs for the organization, including ClickerExpo, Karen Pryor Academy, and The Ranch. This allows Ken to help bring positive reinforcement training to all corners of the animal training world.
Previously, Ken served as the Executive Vice-President of animal care and animal training at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, where he developed and supervised animal care and animal health programs, staff training and development as well as public presentation programs for a collection of more than 32,000 animals. He worked at Shedd Aquarium for over 25 years.
A 40+ year veteran of animal care and training, Ramirez is a biologist and animal behaviorist who served nine years at Marineworld of Texas. He also was a trainer and coordinator at Ocean Safari in South Padre Island, Texas, as well as acting as a consultant to many zoo and aquarium programs throughout the world. He began his training career working with guide dogs for the visually impaired and has maintained a close affiliation to pet training throughout his career. He hosted two successful seasons of the pet training television series Talk to the Animals that compared pet training to the important work done with training and caring for animals in zoological facilities. He also works closely with several search and rescue dog organizations, service dog groups, as well as with bomb and narcotic dogs.
Since 2005, Ken has brought his experience as a trainer of many cognitive projects with marine mammals and primates to the dog arena. Most notable has been his work with modifier cues, adduction, matching to sample, mimicry, and counting. The latter two projects: teaching dogs to mimic or imitate other dogs; and to learn the concept of counting are in the process of being prepared for scientific publication. Both of these projects have documented cognitive abilities in dogs that have not been previously well reported or understood.
Ken has also pioneered groundbreaking conservation training projects with chimpanzees, polar bears, elephants, butterflies and other animals. Conservation training applies behavior science in the field with free-ranging animals and uses remote training to facilitate learning to assist wild life biologists in a wide range of projects.
Ramirez has been active in several professional organizations, including the International Marine Animal Trainer’s Association (IMATA), of which he is a past president. Ken has been actively involved in the creation of a certification process for animal trainers in zoological settings.
Ramirez has written for numerous scientific publications and authored countless popular articles. He authored the book ANIMAL TRAINING: Successful Animal Management through Positive Reinforcement, published in 1999 and Better Together: The Collected Wisdom of Modern Dog Trainers, published in 2017. Ken taught a graduate course on animal training at Western Illinois University for 20 years and currently offers several on-line courses through the Karen Pryor Academy. In 2017 Ken moved to Washington state where he created a series of immersive hands-on training courses at The Ranch, the Karen Pryor National Training Center.
Dr Vanessa Rohlf
Dr Vanessa Rohlf is a consultant, counsellor and educator to those who work with and care for animals. She has a PhD with a specialisation in psychology (human-animal interactions), a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Psychology and has worked in the animal industry for over 20 years including veterinary nursing and animal welfare research. She is a certified compassion fatigue therapist and educator and has additional qualifications in mindfulness and animal bereavement. Vanessa is a member of the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology and has lectured and tutored psychology and human behaviour for 7 years at Monash University. She holds an honorary role at La Trobe University and regularly presents her work in peer reviewed journal articles, as well as international and national conferences.
Vanessa has worked with several animal care industries including animal shelters, veterinary clinics, zoos, research facilities, dog walking and day care facilities. She also regularly provides individual counselling and support to companion animal owners and professional animal caregivers from a range of industries.
Michael Shikashio, CDBC, is the past president of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), and provides private consultations working exclusively with dog aggression cases through his business Complete Canines LLC. Michael is fully certified through the IAABC and is a full member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). He also offers mentoring and training to other professionals.
Michael is sought after for his expert opinion by numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, New York Post, Baltimore Sun, WebMD, Women’s Health Magazine, Real Simple Magazine, The Chronicle of the Dog, and Steve Dale’s Pet World.
He is a featured speaker at conferences and seminars around the world, and offers numerous webinars and online courses on the topic of canine aggression.