Equine behaviorists play a valuable role in horse care. Sue McDonnell, PhD, the founding head of the Equine Behavior Program at Penn Vet, was recently honored with the George Stubbs Award from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). Named for the 18th century artist and teacher who played a vital role in veterinary education, the award recognizes contributions made to equine veterinary medicine by individuals other than veterinarians.

Dr. McDonnell’s work includes clinical, research and teaching activities focused on horse behavior. In addition to laboratory and field studies, she maintains a semi-feral herd of ponies specifically for the study of equine physiology and behavior under seminatural conditions. The herd affords veterinary and animal behavior students the opportunity for long-term observation of equine social and developmental behavior, and for first-hand comparison of horse behavior under free-running and traditional domestic conditions. vet.upenn.edu/research