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Six women who share an enthusiasm for science, mental health, behavior, horses (and other animals that humans interact with), data, discovery, education and learning.

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NERD TEAM

Get to Know The Nerds

ANASTASIA GEORGIADES, PHD

Anastasia Georgiades is a Psychologist and Research Scientist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Uppsala University, Sweden in 1998 and came to Duke for a post-doc later that year.  Her research at Duke has focused on examining the impact of psychological stress on outcomes like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and more lately, substance use in adolescents. Dr. Georgiades is a devoted amateur horseback rider since childhood and got certified in psychotherapy and learning incorporating horses in 2016. Since then, she has been involved in several scientific presentations related to therapies incorporating horses at national and international conferences. She has also served in the research committee for a global equine organization. Her expertise lies in the area of psychophysiology and she has both developed proposals and managed several NIH grants. She is well versed in data management, statistics, and the skill of scientific presentations. Dr Georgiades is eager to support both individual programs and the development of more large-scale research within the field of animal assisted services.

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ANGELA SHERMAN, PHD

Angela Sherman is a licensed clinical psychologist in Northern California. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (now called Palo Alto University). She has completed certifications in a variety of equine assisted services including therapeutic riding and psychotherapy services incorporating horses, which is her current focus. Her research interests are in  human-animal interactions with a special interest in equines. A passion of hers is in helping translate information from research into practice to assist providers and programs in their work.

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ANGELA FOURNIER, PHD, LP

Angela Fournier holds a PhD in clinical psychology from Virginia Tech and works as a professor in the Dept of Psychology at Bemidji State University. She is a licensed psychologist in MN and certified in psychotherapy and learning incorporating horses. Dr. Fournier’s research interests are in human-animal interaction broadly, with specific interests in measurement and theory development in animal-assisted intervention, impacts of human-animal interaction on animal welfare, and mental health and well-being of those who work with animals (e.g., practitioners, shelter workers, etc). Dr. Fournier lives and works in Bemidji MN, which is the current and ancestral homeland of the Ojibwe and Dakota people.

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ERICA GERGELY, PHD, LP

Erica Gergely is a licensed clinical psychologist in the Indianapolis area. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Western Michigan University. Her doctoral dissertation synthesized her training in evidence-based practices with her knowledge of intervention involving horses and has been an asset to the literature in a growing field. Dr. Gergely also developed the very first treatment integrity measure for equine-assisted services. She was certified in psychotherapy and learning incorporating horses in 2009 and has presented at several national conferences, both in the classroom and the arena. She has also served on research and scientific review committees for national and global equine organizations. Her research interest continues to focus on treatment integrity in the field of animal assisted services.

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MICHELLE GARNER, MSW, PHD, LICSW

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NOREEN ESPOSITO, EDD, PMHNP-BC, FNP

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