Dr Jessica Hill


School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences


Jess has worked as a paediatric occupational therapist in private practice since graduating from her undergraduate degree. She gained additional training in animal-assisted therapy (canine and equine) in 2015 and became interested in the role animals could play in facilitating client motivation and engagement within therapy sessions. This interest led Jess to complete her PhD exploring the efficacy of canine-assisted occupational therapy with autistic children. Since completing her PhD Jess has continued her research into the impact of human-animal interaction to human and animal health and wellbeing resulting in a number of publications. In line with this research Jess is also the Co-director of The University of Queensland Animal-Assisted intervention Alliance, and the Community Engagement Manager for Animal Therapies Ltd. Jess is also qualified as a personal trainer and has clinical and research experience working to support people with disability engage in physical activity. Jess is a current researcher and coach within the UQ ParaSTART Program.

Research Interests

  • Supporting physical activity participation for people with disability
    Methods and strategies to support regular participation in physical activity for people with disability.
  • Autism spectrum disorder
    Clinical reasoning and decision making for evidence based intervention, client-centered, family-centered practice
  • Animal-assisted services
    The safe and ethical incorporation of animal-assisted services including assistance animals, therapy animals and companion animals


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours), C.Sturt


View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Book Chapter

  • Hill, Jessica (2020). Animal-assisted occupational therapy. Animal-Assisted Interventions for Health and Human Service Professionals. (pp. 271-293) Hauppauge, NY United States: Nova Science Publishers.

Journal Article

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor