Dr. Alexandra Protopopova

Dr. Alexandra Protopopova

Assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech University, Director of the Human-Animal Interaction Lab, PhD in Behavior Analysis

Ph.D. Behavior Analysis, University of Florida
M.S. Behavior Analysis, University of Florida
B.S. Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst
B.S. Neuroscience, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Because of my interest in community initiatives, I am also a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and an American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen (AKC CGC) evaluator.


Dr. Alexandra (Sasha) Protopopova, MS, PhD, CPDT-KA is an applied animal behavior scientist in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech University. The Human-Animal Interaction Lab, directed by Dr. Protopopova, systematically explores questions of companion animal well-being, behavior, and human-animal interactions. Her research aims are 1) to improve the well-being of dogs housed in animal shelters, 2) assess and develop therapy dog programs to benefit human health and educational outcomes, and 3) improve our general understanding of animal behavior. Dr. Protopopova earned an MS and a PhD in Behavior Analysis from University of Florida and is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. Dr. Protopopova spends her days conducting behavioral research, teaching university classes in Animal Shelter Management, and cuddling with her bull terrier named Sonya.


Topic 1 - The science of the therapy dog: What we know and what we don't
Topic 2 - Increasing adoptions with the science of the meet-and-greet