Dr. Platzer joined the Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at the University of Vermont as a lecturer in 2023. Born in Massachusetts, she spent many of her formative years in Florida. As a teenager she worked at a Seminole zoo and a rescue horse barn. She attended the University of Florida where she earned bachelor’s degrees in Zoology and Classical Studies and became involved in animal behavior research with both pet dogs and wild birds. As an undergrad she also began fostering dogs and quickly became immersed in local animal rescue efforts. After graduation she worked as a professional dog trainer and behavior consultant in Michigan in between a seasonal job in Australia studying the social behavior of fairy wrens and an internship at the Yale Canine Cognition Lab.

She returned to school to obtain her Ph.D. at Virginia Tech, joining the Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare Lab. While her time there was wonderfully expansive, her primary research projects focused on shelter animal welfare, animal training, and animal domestication. She enjoys going on adventures, spending time in nature, and training animals to do fun tricks and cooperative care behaviors.

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Animal Behavior; Animal Welfare; Animal Training; Domestication; Companion Animals; Wild and Captive Exotic Animals


  • B.S. and B.A., University of Florida
  • Ph.D., Virginia Tech


  • 802-656-5893
Office Location:

Terrill 311

Office Hours:

On Request