Jessica Rizzolo


Jessica Rizzolo


I am a Ph.D. Student in Sociology with specializations in Animal Studies, Environmental Science and Policy, and Conservation Criminology. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and a Master of Arts in Psychology from Northwestern University. My current research areas include trans-species psychology, discursive representations of wildlife, the sociopolitical dynamics of conservation initiatives, wildlife tourism, and the illegal wildlife trade. I'm particularly interested in the detrimental impacts (on both the environment and on individual animals) of the trade in wildlife "products" such as bear bile, ivory, and tiger parts. I hope to understand how cultural perceptions and consumption patterns can be changed to be more wildlife-friendly. I care deeply about finding solutions to environmental problems, such as wildlife poaching, that respect the rights and wellbeing of individual animals. In addition, I am currently the Director of the Asian Elephant Program at the Kerulos Center (, where I conduct research, training, and outreach on cultural attitudes towards elephants and psychological indicators of elephant trauma and health in wild and captive settings across Asia. Through my academic research and my work at the Kerulos Center, I seek to integrate an understanding of wildlife psychology into the conceptualization and practice of conservation.

Selected Publications:

Bell, Jessica. 2015. "There is No Wild: Conservation and Circus Discourse." Society & Animals 23: 462-483.

Bell, Jessica. 2015. "Ideology, Subjectivity and Mind in Animal Models and Infant Research." Animals in Human Society: Amazing Creatures who Share our Planet.

Bell, Jessica. 2016. "Cultural Influences on Attitudes about the Causes and Consequences of Wildlife Poaching." Crime, Law and Social Change 1-23.

Curriculum Vitae: Download