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Animal Sciences Department

Animal Sciences Department

Dr. Carissa Wickens

Associate Professor
Extension Equine Specialist

Dr. Carissa Wickens is an Associate Professor and Extension Equine Specialist at the University of Florida, Department of Animal Sciences. Her faculty appointment is 60% Extension, 40% Research.


  • Research

    Research Summary

    Dr. Wickens’s specific areas of research include associations between management and stereotypic behaviors in horses, and the relationship between gastrointestinal irritation and the oral stereotypic behavior of crib-biting, air quality with emphasis on ammonia emissions in equine facilities, and human-horse interactions.

  • Extension

    Area of Speciality: Equine Behavior and Welfare, Management, and Nutrition

    Dr. Wickens’s extension areas address expanding education experiences in equine behavior and welfare, management, and nutrition. Dr. Wickens is the co-coordinator of the Livestock Education and Certification for Agriculture Law Enforcement (LECALE) and Florida Equine Institute programs. Dr. Wickens works with county Extension faculty and Florida clientele to deliver effective Extension educational programs.



PO Box 110910
Gainesville, FL 32611

2250 Shealy Dr.
Gainesville, FL 32611

  • Education


    • 2009; Ph.D. Animal Science (Horse Behavior) Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
    • 2003; M.S. Animal Science (Equine Nutrition), Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
    • 2001; B.S. with High Honor, Animal Science/Specialization in Agribusiness, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
    • 1998; Certificate in Horse Management, Agricultural Technology Program, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

    Academic Positions Since Final Degree:

    • 2021-Present; Associate Professor, Equine Extension Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
    • 2014-2020; Assistant Professor, Equine Extension Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
    • 2009-2013; Assistant Professor, Equine Extension Specialist, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware
  • Publications
  • Professional Service and Awards

    Professional Memberships

    • American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists
    • Equine Science Society
    • International Society for Applied Ethology
    • International Society for Equitation Science
    • National Association of Equine Affiliated Academics

    Honors and Awards

    • 2022; The University Multicultural Mentor Program Best Mentor Award, University of Florida
    • 2021; Dallas Townsend Extension Professional Enhancement Award (Presented in recognition for outstanding extension work and accomplishments), University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
    • 2017 Florida Association of County Agriculture Agents Outstanding Specialist Award
    • 2013; Nominated for the Excellence in Teaching Award (Presented to faculty in recognition of exceptional performance in teaching at the University of Delaware)
    • 2012; Residence Life Certificate (Presented to a faculty member in recognition for making a positive difference in a student’s University of Delaware experience)
    • 2010; Excellence in Academic Advising Award (Presented each year to a faculty member for outstanding academic advising of undergraduate students by the Agricultural College Council, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Delaware)
    • 2008; Jacob A. Hoefer Endowed Fellowship in Animal Science (Presented for outstanding performance as a Ph.D. candidate, Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University)