Dr. Dan Moriarty is Professor of Psychology and has been a member of USD’s Department of Psychology since 1973. His interests are in the area of comparative biological psychology, and he teaches courses in animal behavior and learning, research methods, statistics, evolutionary psychology, and behavioral genetics. As a director and animal behaviorist at the California Wolf Center, Dr. Moriarty is involved in research with, and management and breeding of, captive wolves, including the highly endangered Mexican Gray Wolf. His research has included studies of predator defense behavior, irrelevant drive effects, partial reinforcement and reward contrast effects, and conditioned taste aversion.
Professor Moriarty completed the B.A. in psychology at Louisiana State University in New Orleans (now the University of New Orleans), and the M.S. and Ph.D. in experimental psychology at Tulane University.
Scholarly and Creative Work
Dr. Moriarty’s research in animal behavior has been varied. His laboratory work has included studies of the neurochemistry of predator defense behaviors, irrelevant drive effects on learning; partial reinforcement and reward contrast effects, and most recently conditioned taste aversion as a method for controlling predatory behavior. He has also studied social behavior and enclosure utilization, as well as the effectiveness of fladry barriers and of conditioned taste aversion in captive wolves as ways to mitigate conflicts with livestock.
Professor Moriarty has taught a wide range of psychology courses at USD, but his main interests are in the area of comparative biological psychology and he teaches courses in animal behavior and learning, research methods, statistics, evolutionary psychology, and behavioral genetics.