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 —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, and am currently 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 the Sex & Violence Lab conduct research in the broad areas of neuroscience, behavioural ecology, genetics and personality in both human and non-human animals. Personality-like traits that we are particularly interested in include aggressiveness and stress coping style. We are interested in how the developmental process of sexual differentiation produces personalities, brains, and bodies on a non-binary male-to-female spectrum, and how exposure to stressors early in life shapes adult personality and physiology.
Using both humans and cichlid fish as research subjects, members of my lab investigate the links between environmental influences, genes, hormones, brain and behaviour. My work has examined how individual variation in social behaviour:
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).
Principles and development of perception, motivation, learning, and thinking and their relationship to the psychological functioning of the individual. Fulfillment of the 1/4 laboratory credit typically entails serving as a research participant, but can be fulfilled through the completion of alternative assignments. The course is a prerequisite to all courses in the department and is normally followed by PSYCO 105. [Faculty of Science]Fall Term 2021
An examination of the influence of genetic variations on behavioral differences in infra-human and human populations. Prerequisites: PSYCO 104 or SCI 100 and PSYCO 105 and STAT 141 or 151 or 161 or SCI 151 and BIOL 207. [Faculty of Science]Fall Term 2021 Winter Term 2022