Pete Hurd, PhD, MSc, BSc
Pronouns: he, him
Area of Study / Keywords
Neuroscience Genetics Behavioural Ecology Cichlid Fishes.
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, 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).
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]
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]
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]