Ragen T.S. McGowan


Ragen is the Manager of the Pet IoT, AI and Digital Solutions Group at Nestlé Purina, leading work to generate pet behaviour and wellbeing insights. She has 20 years of experience in animal behavior research, the last 11 of which have been with Nestlé Purina using a holistic approach incorporating behaviour, physiology and endocrinology to quantify affective states and temperament in dogs and cats. With this knowledge she aims to create products that cater to different behavioural needs of pets and to better understand and quantify the human-animal bond from the pet’s perspective. 
Ragen earned B.S. in Zoology, a B.A. in Foreign Language and Literature and a PhD in Applied Ethology from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. Prior to joining Nestlé Purina Ragen held a post-doctoral research position in the Section for Ethology and Animal Welfare at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden. Her post-doctoral research focused on the study of emotionality in dogs. Specifically she explored new methodology to objectively evaluate positive emotions in animals. This included using Cognitive Bias and Contrast to measure emotional states and studying the ‘Eureka Effect’ (emotional reactions to learning) in dogs. She is now bringing this knowledge of animal behaviour and emotions into the digital space to better connect owners with their pets.
Ragen has a passion for sharing her vast knowledge of pet behaviour and the human-animal bond. In addition to speaking at a variety of events for Purina, she serves as a reviewer for several scientific journals and is a contributing scientific expert for scientific congresses, roundtables and podcasts. In addition to her passion for animals. Ragen is based in Saint Joseph, Missouri where she lives with her husband, two children and two giant rescue dogs, Luna and Perry. 


The Gut-Brain Axis (sponsored by Purina)

Speaker: Ragen McGowan