Contact Information:

(727) 864-8428

CEC 244

Lauren Highfill, Ph.d.

Professor of Psychology and Animal Studies


  • B.A. Psychology, Meredith College, 2002

  • M.A., Experimental Psychology, University of Southern Mississippi, 2006

  • Ph.D., Experimental Psychology, University of Southern Mississippi, 2008

Lauren Highfill joined the faculty at Eckerd in 2008. She led the creation and approval of the Animal Studies major in 2018. The courses she teaches include Biopsychology, Comparative Psychology, Statistics, and Practicum in Animal Studies. Professor Highfill’s research interests include animal personality, animal cognition, and conservation psychology. Her studies include a variety of animal species, such as dolphins, elephants, lemurs, and dogs. She especially enjoys talking with students about their own interests in animal behavior. When she is not teaching or researching, she enjoys spending time with her family and their dogs.

Founded by Professor Highfill in 2010, the mission of the Eckerd College Comparative Psychology Lab (ECCPL) is to conduct non-invasive research on the behavior and abilities of various species – from dogs to dolphins - in order to increase our understanding of these remarkable animals.

Photo of Prof. Highfill with Harry the Sloth, and ambassador animal at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.