Lawrence Minnis

Lawrence Minnis

Lawrence Minnis

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience: Perception of canine behavior, canine cognition and learning, neuroscience of human-animal interaction, and the animal adoption decision-making process

Lawrence is a 2nd year PhD student in the Animal Behavior & Cognition Lab, under Dr. Doris Bitler-Davis. Born and raised in Southeast Washington, D.C., he attended North Carolina A&T State University for a degree in business management. He commissioned in the Army in 2004, as an Military Intelligence officer. He was stationed in Germany and deployed to Iraq, but a neurological illness during deployment ended his active duty career. During his 18-month rehabilitation, he participated in the inaugural session of the Dog Tags training program with the Washington Humane Society in DC, which covered dog training techniques, behavioral assessments, and animal care & management. During his time within the program, he developed strong interests in animal behavior and animal social dynamics related to leadership.

His diverse interests include leadership studies, human perception of canine behavior, human-canine interaction benefits and attachment levels, and neuroimaging study. His current research efforts are intended to benefit the humane animal adoption community. He is currently developing theory on the animal adoption decision-making process and planning a research study that will several humane adoption centers in the DC Metro area.

Current Research

  • Developing a composite decision-making model and search process theory related to the animal adoptions
  • Investigating the variable factors that potential adopters use in their decision to visit an animal adoption site (shelter or event)


Courses Taught

Principles of Learning Lab (PSYC 304 lab)


B.S. Business Management, Honors; North Carolina A&T State University