Pete Hurd, PhD, MSc, BSc

Professor, Faculty of Science - Psychology Science

Pronouns: he, him


Professor, Faculty of Science - Psychology Science
(780) 492-3578
P-449 Bio Science - Psychology Wing
11355 - Saskatchewan Drive
Edmonton AB
T6G 2E9


Area of Study / Keywords

Neuroscience Genetics Behavioural Ecology Cichlid Fishes.


(My personal homepage and lab web pages, and full publication list)

I am by training a field biologist. My early research studied the behaviour of animals in their natural environment. Jane Goodall was my role model and hero for much of my early education, and remains so. My research career then turned to pencil and paper mathematical modelling of the evolution of behaviour using formal game theory. I've also modelled the evolution of threats â€”and other communication strategies between individuals with conflicting interests— using neural networks, genetic algorithms, and stochastic dynamic programming models. For the last 15 to 20 years I've studied the neuroscience, genetics, and development of individual differences in behaviour, personality differences, in humans and other animals.

I've been at the University of Alberta since 2001, in the Department of Psychology, and am a member of the Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute. I am a co-investigator with the Kule Institute for Advanced Study group Research at the Intersections of Gender, and also Principal Investigator on a Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund grant (with Deanna Singhal) to improve statistical and methods pedagogy throughout the Department's undergraduate program.



Members of my lab conduct research in the broad areas of neuroscience, behavioural ecology, and behavioural genetics examining individual differences in social behaviour in both human and non-human animals. We are interested in how the developmental process of sexual differentiation produces a range of personalities, brains, and bodies and how this influences life-history strategies.


The courses I have taught fall under three general categories, 1) Introductory Psychology, 2) Behavioural Genetics, and 3) Statistical Methods. A list of courses I have taught, some words about my teaching philosophy etc. are on my Teaching Page.

A collection of gathered wisdom for students on the general topic of learning and scholarship can be found on my Page of Assorted Cruft.


Student Opportunities: Openings for Graduate and Undergraduate students, and funded Postdocs, exist in the lab (click for more information).


PSYCH 302 - Special Topics in Psychological Research

Review and discussion of special topics or methods in one or more of the areas of contemporary psychology such as experimental, perception, physiological, learning, memory, behavior, quantitative. Prerequisites: PSYCH 104 or SCI 100 and PSYCH 105 and one 200-level Psychology course. Students must check with the Department for the topics for the year and any additional prerequisites. [Faculty of Science]

PSYCH 305 - Special Topics in Psychology I

Review and discussion of special topics or methods in one or more of the areas of contemporary psychology such as developmental, social, personality, cognitive. Prerequisites: PSYCH 104 or SCI 100, PSYCH 105 and a 200-level PSYCH class. Note: Consult the Department of Psychology's website for the specific topic(s) offered each year and any additional prerequisites. [Faculty of Arts]

PSYCH 372 - Behavior in Relation to Genetics

An examination of the influence of genetic variations on behavioral differences in infra-human and human populations. Prerequisites: PSYCH 104 or SCI 100, STAT 141 or 151 or 161 or SCI 151 and BIOL 207. [Faculty of Science]

Browse more courses taught by Pete Hurd

Featured Publications

Yang N, Hurd PL, Crespi BJ.

Frontiers in Psychology. 2022 February; 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.767446

Renn SCP, Hurd PL.

Sexual Development. 2021 September; 15 (1-3):93–107 10.1159/000517197

Manning C, Hurd PL, Read S, Crespi BJ.

Autism Research and Treatment. 2021 June; 2021

Nahal P, Hurd PL, Read S, Crespi BJ.

Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2021 April;

Robles D, Kuziek JWP, Wlasitz NA, Bartlett NT, Hurd PL, Mathewson, KE

European Journal of Neuroscience. 2021 February;

Driscoll RMH, Faber-Hammond JJ, O’Rourke CF, Hurd PL, Renn SCP.

General and Comparative Endocrinology. 2020 September; 296

Hope BV, Fjellner KL, Renn SCP, Hurd PL.

Animal Behaviour. 2020 March; 161

Crespi BJ, Read S, Ly A, Hurd PL

Autism Research and Treatment. 2019 October;

Salminen I, Read S, Hurd PL, Crespi, BJ.

Psychiatry Research. 2019 May; 275

Jha A, Read S, Hurd PL, Crespi BJ.

Neuropsychologia. 2018 August; 117

Crespi BJ, Read S, Salminen I, Hurd PL.

Biology Letters. 14

Seaver CMS, Hurd PL.

Zoology. 122

Reddon AR, O’Connor CM, Nesjan E, Cameron J, Hellmann JK, Ligocki IY, Marsh-Rollo SE, Hamilton IM, Wylie DR, Hurd PL, Balshine S.

Royal Society Open Science. 4