The affairs of ISES are vested in a Council consisting of the President, the Senior Vice-President, the Junior Vice-President and 12 other voting members. Please refer to the ISES Constitution for details about the duties of the different positions. If you have a specific question you want to have addressed by a council member, you can send an email by clicking on the name.  

ISES Local Organising Committee ...

ISES Founders ...

Camie Heleski received her Ph.D. in Animal Science with an emphasis in equine behavior and welfare; her M.S. was also in Animal Science, with an emphasis in equine nutrition and exercise physiology. She has worked at Michigan State University since 1991 as Coordinator of their two-year Horse Management Program. Her appointment at MSU is 100% teaching and advising. Her applied research interests have revolved around equine behavior and welfare, horse-human interactions & working equids in developing parts of the world. She has been actively involved with the International Society for Equitation Science as a Council member since 2007.  She served as the Scientific Chair for the NFACC Canadian Equine Welfare Code Committee, and has travelled to Brazil, Mexico, Honduras & Mali in relationship to her research/outreach with working equids. Dr. Heleski grew up on a horse farm where she and her family raised, trained and showed horses. She enjoys riding her Arabian gelding, MSU Ducati, in the discipline of dressage.
Hayley holds a BSc (Hons) in Biology and Psychology and has a PhD in Animal Science. She runs BSc and Masters Equitation Science programmes at the Equitation Science Academy at Duchy College in the UK working alongside Plymouth University. She also holds the Academic Lead – Quality and Research at Duchy College, is a Higher Education Quality Reviewer and heavily involved in the review of academic publications.  She has been involved in large mammal behavioural research for the past 19 years. Her research interests focus on animal (in particular equine) behaviour, training, individual differences and welfare. Hayley has successfully competed in Endurance but is now just spending any spare time with her senior arab gelding and shetland, as well as training her two border collies, son and ever expanding herd of pets.
JUNIOR VICE PRESIDENT - Janne Winther Christensen
Janne Winther Christensen is an Associate Professor in the Behaviour and Stress Biology group at Aarhus University, Denmark. Janne has studied behaviour of Przewalski horses in the Askania Nova Reserve in Ukraine, and the fascination of wild equids and the similarities in behaviour between wild, feral and domestic horses has formed the basis for her research. Janne holds a licentiate degree from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (2006), and a PhD in ethology from Copenhagen University (2008). The focus of her licentiate and PhD projects were on fear reactions and habituation in horses. Her current research focusses on (i) maternal influence on development of foal behaviour, (ii) learning and training of horses, (iii) social behaviour and welfare in relation to housing and management.
 Carissa Wickens is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Florida, and also serves as an Extension Equine Specialist for the state of Florida. Her current responsibilities are to develop and implement equine education and outreach programs and to conduct applied research in the areas of equine management, behavior and welfare. Carissa served as an Assistant Professor and Equine Extension Specialist with the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Delaware (2009-2013) where she taught undergraduate equine science courses and provided educational resources and programming for Delaware equine owners. Carissa completed her PhD in Animal Science at Michigan State University (2009) with emphasis on stereotypic behavior in horses, especially crib-biting. She enjoys working with all equids, but has a special affinity for draft horses and loves spending time with her husband, daughter, and their two beagles. Carissa and Camie Heleski co-chaired the local organizing committee for the 2013 ISES Conference.
Linda holds a BSc (Hons) Equine Science and MSc Equine Science, both obtained from the University of the West of England whilst studying at Hartpury College. She returned to the College in 2006 as a lecturer and currently manages the Higher Education Equine Science provision, overseeing and contributing to Foundation & Honours Degree, and Masters programmes. Linda’s’ main research involves investigating the influence of the domestic environment on the welfare of the horse including topics such as; nocturnal behaviour, equine abnormal & stereotypic behaviours, learning ability & performance, and associations of these behaviours with specific neuroanatomy. She is also very interested in feral horse behaviour, specifically laterality. Linda has worked in the UK for DEFRA and on competition & livery yards, and internationally on racehorse stud farms.
TREASURER - Jane Williams
 Jane started her career working as Head Veterinary Nurse in a range of small animals, equine and large animal veterinary practices before moving into teaching. She is an experienced academic manager, lecturer and researcher predominately in equine and animal science. She is interested in the practical application of scientific methods and research to explain, underpin and hopefully improve equine training methods and performance to promote health, success and career longevity for the equine athlete. Jane has an MSc in Equine Science and completed her Doctorate exploring the use of surface electromyography as a tool to assess muscle adaptation during training in racehorses and sport horses. Jane’s other research interests include the use of epidemiology to evaluate injury risk and performance factors across species. She also competes in showjumping and enjoys bringing on young horses and ex-racehorses, as well as spending time walking with her husband and two Weimaraners. 
Elke was awarded her PhD from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences with a focus on managing horses in groups to improve horse welfare and human safety. She holds a Master of Science in Animal Behaviour and Welfare from Edinburgh University. Her principal research interests lie in the field of horse behaviour and the various forms of horse-human interactions. Elke has been connected with horse husbandry and training for many years and has taken every opportunity to further improve her practical and scientific skills. Elke co-chaired the local organizing committee for the 2010 ISES Conference in Uppsala, Sweden. She is spending her spare time with her PRE horse Curioso and her German sheperd Callas. 
MEDIA OFFICER - Alexandria Bailey
Alexandria holds degrees in Sports Science and Education and has extensive experience in Event Management, Media & Marketing, Small Business Management and Adult Education. Her life-long work with horses and dogs has seen her in the role of coach, instructor, educator, competitor and community club committee member. She is passionate about teaching equestrian rider positioning, awareness of animal welfare in human/animal interactions and always having fun and happy times with animal companions. As an animal trainer, Alexandria has worked with a range of animal actors including horses, donkeys, birds, camels, dogs and a pig for movies & TV, special events and stage theatre. One of her greatest joys is training and competing with her 4 dogs (of which 2 are deaf and work only from hand and body signals) in agility and obedience. Alexandria’s research interests focus on evidence-based animal training principles (in particular equine & canine) and in examining the anatomical positioning of the rider and its effect on the horse.
NEWSLETTER EDITOR - Cristina Wilkins
As a young rider Cristina Wilkins competed in eventing to 3 star level in the UK and coached pony and junior riders who competed successfully at European Championship events. She moved to Australia in the late 90's after residing in New Zealand for five years. Cristina is now the editor in chief of Horses and People Magazine, and Australian based publication promoting sustainable and evidence-based horse care, welfare and training. She lives near Brisbane with her husband Nick, daughter Emma, chocolate labrador Molly and PRE stallions Luisillo and Alma Almendrito.

RESEARCH OFFICER - Uta Koenig von Borstel 
 Jody Hartstone is a Grand prix dressage rider based at her own stud (Karioi Sport Horses) in New Zealand. She has twice been NZ Grand Prix Champion and has previously qualified for the World Equestrian Games. She has won Prix St Georges derbies in Australia, NZ and South Africa. Jody is a passionate teacher of learning theory as applied to horse training and gives clinics worldwide.
Gemma graduated as a vet from Glasgow University in 2009. After working in equine practice in Yorkshire for 18 months she moved up to the Dick Vet Equine Hospital at the University of Edinburgh. She now combines time spent between working in the equine practice and hospital. As well as behavioral consultations she frequently gives talks on Equitation Science for vets at CPD events and horse owners throughout the U.K. In her spare time Gemma enjoys ridding and competing her own horse. Along with her partner they breed black Arabian horses for Endurance at their farm in the beautiful Scottish Borders.
Colleen Brady earned Ph.D. at Michigan State University, where she studied the impact of different breeding systems on hormones in mares. Following graduation, she accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at Purdue University, where she is primarily engaged in both formal, and informal teaching efforts. She provides content leadership to the Indiana 4-H Horse program, and participates in various educational activities for adult horse owners. Her research emphasis is on the use of digital technology to enhance education of youth and adult horse owners, and students. Currently, she is working on projects with the International Museum of the Horse, the USDA, and eXtension Horses. Colleen also rides dressage, and hopes to someday earn her USDF Bronze Medal. 

Jessie Weir is a Ph.D. student at the University of Florida. She completed her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Animal Science with a focus on the Equine Industry at the University of Florida in 2010. After completing her BS, Jessie went on to obtain a Master’s of Science in Animal Nutrition from the University of Florida as well.  Jessie’s thesis focused on the environmental impact of feeding different amounts and types of phosphorus to horses. Jessie began her Ph.D. program at the University of Delaware in 2012 before transferring back to the University of Florida in 2013. Currently, the focus of her research is air quality (ammonia, in particular) on horse farms, more specifically looking at the environmental and horse health impact. Jessie has been involved with horses since a very early age and is particularly involved with the polo industry.

Katrina Merkies holds an honours BSc (agr) in animal science and a PhD in reproductive physiology, both from the University of Guelph. She was a faculty member at Lake Erie College in Ohio for four years, but returned to Canada in 2006 to develop and implement the first equine bachelor's degree in Canada (BBRM Equine Management) at the University of Guelph. She maintains oversight of the program and teaches a variety of courses including equine event management, equine trends and issues and equine reproduction. Her modest research program focuses on the horse-human interaction, but she enjoys involving all of her students (graduate and undergraduate) in all aspects of equine research. Katrina has trained and competed up to FEI levels in dressage, earning title of Canadian Champion in 1999. She is a Level II dressage coach in Canada and her students have been successful at all levels. She enjoys most putting foundation training on young horses, and has more recently turned her efforts to mounted archery. She also avidly applies learning theory principles in the training of her young Australian Shepherd, Kurt, who will hopefully promote LT through his career in Treibball, agility and Rally-O.
Angelo is an Assistant Professor in Equine Science and Management at Delaware Valley College where he teaches a variety of courses from Equine Behavior to horseback riding and training. He has a MS in Education and obtained a master’s degree “Laurea” from the University of Padua. For his final thesis in Equine Behavior he explored, “The Comparison between Equine Training Techniques and the Psychology of Learning.” Paired with his academic expertise, he has been a horseback riding coach since 1996 when he received his first riding instructors’ certificate from the Italian federation. He has since continued to progress through the levels of instructor certification, with perhaps the most important recognition received when he passed the Fellow of the British Horse Society exam in 2010. His unique life experiences have allowed him to fuse the academic discoveries in animal training and learning with horse training techniques, all of which have earned him popularity as a clinician in Europe and the USA.

ISES Local Organising Committee 2016

Marion Cressent & Marion Renault

ISES Local Organising Committee 2015

Susi Cienciala & Mary Jane Bowie & Judith Gavin/Olson & Camie Heleski & ZoëThorbergson


ISES Founders

Natalie Waran

Natalie gained a BSc (Hons) in Zoology and her PhD in Cambridge. She led and participated in a wide range of research activities extending from welfare issues associated with agricultural animals to the assessment of conditions for companion, laboratory and zoo animals. Natalie has directed the Masters in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare in Edinburgh. She is first or co-author of more than 100 scientific publications and editor of a book on the welfare of horses.

Natalie has owned, trained and competed horses for eventing at advanced level and has an interest in dressage.


Andrew McLean

Andrew holds a degree in Zoology, a PhD in horse training psychology and teaches at Universities and conferences around the world. He developed and manages the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre, the internationally recognised horse training and behaviour modification centre in Australia.

Andrew has been an accredited horse-riding coach for over 20 years and has written top-selling books and numerous articles. He competed at state and national events in FEI level dressage and eventing and has also show-jumped to Grand Prix level.


Paul McGreevy

Paul is a riding instructor, veterinarian and ethologist. He is Professor of Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare Science at the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Veterinary Science. The author of over 150 peer-reviewed scientific publications and six books, Paul has received numerous Australian and international awards for his research and teaching innovations. His PhD was in the behaviour of stabled horses but it was a chapter co-written with Dr Andrew McLean in his Equine Behavior textbook that coined the term “Equitation Science”.

Paul is especially proud of his term as Hon. President of the ISES; a period that delivered the Eight Principles of Ethical Training, the ISES Ethics Committee, the first Consensus Workshop on Research Methods, the Position Statement on Restrictive Nosebands and the ISES Taper Gauge.


Deborah Goodwin

Debbie holds a degree in Zoology from University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, a PhD from University of Southampton, and was a lecturer in Applied Animal Behaviour at Southampton University 2002 – 2012. Her research focuses on the behaviour and welfare of domestic animals.

Debbie has competed in endurance, dressage, show -jumping and cross-country since 1981 and was a member of Endurance GB 1984-2012.


Machteld van Dierendonck

Machteld is a clinical ethologist and equine welfare expert, working at the Biology Faculty of Utrecht University. She has been researching wild, feral and domesticated equines in many countries since 1984. Machteld is currently focusing on teaching, researching and patient care at the ethology and welfare as well as at the equine departments.

Machteld owns horses since 20 years. She is chair of the Veterinary and Welfare Committee of the International Icelandic Horse Federation and is a national judge. She is member of ISAE, ASAB and member of the Equid Specialist Group, a Species Survival Commission of the IUCN.