Jessica Hekman

Dr. Hekman is a postdoctoral associate at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she studies canine behavioral genetics. She is the team leader of the Working Dog Project ( and also assists with the Darwin’s Dogs citizen science project (, which you should participate in! She is particularly interested in the genetic basis of anxiety in dogs.

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