Liv Baker, Ph.D., is the animal welfare research fellow at the Centre for Compassionate Conservation at the University of Technology of Sydney, Australia. Her research focuses on improving conservation outcomes and the well-being of wild animals through a greater understanding of the ecological roles that individuals have in their communities. In part, she has looked at the importance of individual variation of personality in the health of wild populations.
Her work also explores the similar patterns of well-being seen across the animal kingdom: that individuals want to have appropriate resources; that individuals want to learn about their environment and have control over their lives; that good psychological health corresponds to good physical health; that social context matters; and that challenges and positive emotions are not luxuries, but integral elements to being alive.
Liv is co-founder of the Center for Animalia Health Studies, a new organization of applied study that seeks to fill a gap of knowledge, understanding, and importantly of synthesis of Animalia that has not been properly filled by other animal-related fields. Animalia Health Studies is a field that has as its first principle that nonhuman animals, like humans, have an interest in the outcomes of their lives; it is a field devoted to asking for Animalia, “what makes life worth living?”