PHAIR Leadership

Board of Directors

Kristof Dhont

Kristof is a Reader in Psychology at the University of Kent. He is the current President and a founding member of the PHAIR Society. He also serves as an Associate Editor of the Psychology of Human-Animal Intergroup Relations. His research interests include the factors that shape people’s perceptions of and thinking about animals, the moral psychology of eating and exploiting animals, veganism, and the intersections between speciesism and prejudices towards human outgroups (e.g., ethnic and gender-based prejudice).

Maria Ioannidou

Maria is a PhD student at the University of Bradford and is the current Graduate Student Representative at the PHAIR Society. She is also events and conference co-organiser and well as digital manager for the PHAIR Society. Her primary research focus is on the psychology of meat, dairy, egg and fish consumption, and the motivations that shape human behaviour and attitudes towards (other) animals. Maria investigates people’s perceptions and moral considerations of (other) animals in order to understand the root causes of speciesism.

Jared Piazza

Jared is a Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology at Lancaster University. He is a Co-founder and Vice President of the PHAIR Society. His research focuses on moral decision-making and emotion, particularly as it relates to the treatment of animals.

Chris Hopwood

Chris is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Zurich. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Psychology of Human-Animal Intergroup Relations and is a founding member of the PHAIR Society. He studies personality, interpersonal processes, psychological assessment, and dietary motives. 

Catherine Amiot

Catherine is a Professor of Psychology at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and Director-at-Large of the PHAIR Society. Her research is in the field of social psychology, specifically in the areas of intergroup relations, self and identity, human motivation, and psychological well-being. She applies theories in this field to understand how human-animal relations can be mutually beneficial. Her work has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Australian Research Council, and the Québec Fund for Research on Health.

Chris Bryant

Chris has his PhD in Psychology from the University of Bath, where he studied public perceptions of cultivated meat. He is the current clerk of the PHAIR Society. In 2020, he started Bryant Research, which works with alternative protein companies and animal protection non-profits to conduct social science to accelerate the protein transition. He has authored a number of consumer surveys, policy analyses, and social commentary on meat, animal products, and alternatives.

Matthew Ruby

Matthew is a Lecturer in Psychology at La Trobe University and Director-at-Large of the PHAIR Society. His research is primarily in the fields of cultural and social psychology, examining how people decide which (animal) foods are acceptable to eat and which are not, how people reconcile the dissonance between loving meat and loving animals, and how people perceive others as a function of what they (don’t) eat. He coordinates a large first-year subject in which learners explore how humans interact with non-human animals (anthrozoology) and the natural environment (ecopsychology). His research and teaching have been funded by the Animal Advocacy Research Fund, the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, and the Fulbright Commission.

João Graca

João is an Assistant Professor at the University of Groningen and Director-at-Large of the PHAIR Society. He is an interdisciplinary researcher with a background in psychology, working at the intersection of behaviour and communication sciences with a focus on social and environmental sustainability. His interests include sustainable food transitions (meat reduction, plant-based eating) and protecting vulnerable populations from harm (child protection, human-animal relations).

Committee Members

Stefan Leach

Stefan is a Research Associate in Psychology at the University of Kent. He is conference co-organiser and blog author for the PHAIR Society. His work explores how people form moral beliefs about animals, such as their capacity to suffer, and how such beliefs are conveyed to others.

Victoria Simpson

Victoria is PhD student at Lancaster University and is blog editor and author for the PHAIR Society. Her research interests lie within the fields of social and developmental psychology, with a focus on the development of prejudice and gender issues. She examined school children’s attitudes towards vegan and vegetarian peers, finding evidence in support of the early stereotyping of vegetarians and vegans as lacking in masculine traits.