Dr. Orit Hirsch-Matsioulas
Dr. Orit Hirsch-Matsioulas is an anthropologist who specializes in human-animal relations and in modern Greece. Her post-doctoral research is conducted under the supervision of Prof. Daphna Hacker, as part of the Coller-Menmon Program for Animal Rights and Welfare. The research focuses on an experimental pilot of integrating companion animals at an elder public housing, and combines several fields, including human-animal relations, animal law, gerontology and elder law and animal assisted therapy. In this research, Orit examines the effect that the relations of elderly and companion animals have on loneliness mitigation, the welfare of all sides of the relationship and the protection of their rights.
Orit wrote her Doctoral dissertation at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in Ben-Guiron University of the Negev, under the supervision of Prof. Nitza Berkovitch and Prof. Nir Avieli (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) and Prof. Haim Hazan (Tel-Aviv University). Her dissertation, which was based on an anthropological field work in Paros island (Greece) during the economic crisis, examined human-canine relationships and politics of belonging. Her study was supported by the Centre for the Study of European Politics and Society at Ben-Gurion University, as well as the Dean's Excellence Award. Following her study, Orit has published numerous essays in a special academic collection on the anthropology of fear issued by LIT-Verlag, in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography and in ‘Iyunim Betchumat Israel: Multidisciplinary Studies in Israeli and Modern Jewish Society’.
Orit is a co-founder of the Human-Animal Studies academic community in Israel (HASI), under the auspices of the Israeli Anthropological Association, and a co-founder of the human-animal relations multi-disciplinary research group at Tel Aviv University. As well, she is a consultant for human-animal relations and a research fellow at ‘Tech4Animals’ lab (Haifa University). She also takes part in a multi-disciplinary study group, that carries out research in the field of loneliness mitigation and the creation of a multi-species and inter-generational community in Tel Aviv.