Jessica Hekman

Dr. Hekman is a Ph.D. candidate in Genetics, Genomics, and Bioinformatics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she studies canid behavioral genetics. Her research focuses on lines of
foxes who have been selected for tameness or aggression towards humans. She uses gene expression to identify differences in the brains of these two groups.

Dr. Hekman graduated from the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 2012 with a dual DVM/MS degree. Her Master’s work was on the behavior and cortisol responses of healthy dogs to being hospitalized overnight. After graduation, she completed a shelter medicine specialty internship at the University of Florida Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program.

Dr. Hekman also writes, lectures, and teaches on genetics from a companion animal behavior perspective. You may learn more about her at