Hurd Lab Members

Prof. Peter Hurd: Pete Hurd (webpage) Dr. Hurd's background is in biology, specifically in the evolution of animal behaviour. He has been investigating the biology of aggressive behaviour in one way or another since his M.Sc fieldwork investigating threat display use in American coots.

Grad Students:

Matt Ian Helgesen: was a Ph.D. student in the Lab. Ian arrived with a B.A. in Statistics and Psychology from the University of Minnesota-Morris, and some graduate schooling in Statistics from Iowa State University. He had also been a Research Intern at the Dolphin Research Center, Grassy Key, FL, and a Statistical Programmer Analyst a the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. His research projects in the Hurd lab were centered on theoretical models of aggression and territoriality. Ian passed away in the Summer of 2011, and is greatly missed by everyone in the lab, the Department, the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters' Society and beyond.

Kennedy Fjellner: M.Sc. student studying examining the relationship between developmental stress, growth rate, telomere length and social behaviour in cichlid fish.

Taylor Irvine: Studying hormonal correlates of social behaviour and the effect of birth control medication in humans.


 Past Lab members

Former Graduate Students

Brittany Hope: M.Sc. student in the Neuroscience program studying the effects of stress during early life on adult brain and behaviour in convict cichlids.

John Hoang: former Ph.D. student, investigated the neuromolecular, epigenetic and behavioural effects of variation in the strength of sexual differentiation in a species with environmental sex determination, nonapeptide expression in the brain as a function of alternative life hitory strategies. Now works for the University of Alberta's Faculty of Science.

Nathan Bartlett: M.Sc. student, investigating the links between social behaviour and epigenetic aspects of sexual differentiation of the human brain. Nathan is also interested in the relationship between genetics, sex, handedness and goofy foot vs. regular stance. Nathan now works in the School of Public Health, working on research examining the effectiveness of opioid addiction treatments.

Michele Moscicki

Michele Moscicki: (website) Ph.D. student, successfully defended in the Fall of 2014. Michele completed her M.Sc. in Chris Sturdy's lab examining bioacoustics in the chickadee genus. She did her B.Sc. in the Honours Behaviour, Cognition, and Neuroscience program at the University of Windsor, where she studied female responses to male hormones in fish. Her research projects in the Hurd lab were centered on stress effects on brain asymmetry, behavioural lateralization and social behaviour in cichlids. She was supported by an NSERC CGS-D scholarship, an Alberta Ingenuity Studentship Graduate Scholarship and a UofA Dissertation Fellowship. Michele is now Assistant Professor of Psychology at MacEwan University.

Cheryl Sedlak Seaver: M.Sc. student, Cheryl has a B.Sc. in the Psychology and Interdisciplinary Studies from Sweet Briar College. Prior to joining the Hurd lab she was a statistician at Westat in Rockville, MD. Her research projects in the Hurd lab focus on cerebral lateralization, social behavior, and sex differences in the brains of Pelviachromis pulcher.

Adam Reddon

Adam Reddon: (website) graduated with an M.Sc. in the Summer of 2009. Adam had previously completed his B.Sc. Honors Degree in the lab, examining colour morphs and aggression in the convict cichlid. Adam's thesis work investigated the relationship between cerebral lateralization of function and personality in cichlid fish. Adam went on to do his PhD with Sigal Balshine at McMaster University and a post-doc with Simon Reader at McGill. Adam is now a faculty member in the School of Natural Sciences and Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University.

Reginia Yan

Reginia Yan: graduated with an M.Sc. in Dec 2008. Formerly an NSERC USRA Summer student for 2005. Reginia graduated from the University of Alberta with a BA in Psychology before realizing that her decision to abandon biology back in high school would come back and haunt her. Her Masters work examined effects ranging from how the fetal intrauterine environment can contribute to the development of a mouse's sexually dimorphic traits, to how a range of different putative indicators of prenatal testosterone exposure relate to each other and to behavioural variation.

Steven Hamblin

Steven Hamblin: (website) graduated with an M.Sc. in the Summer of 2007, he worked on the evolutionary dynamics of game theoretical models of communication. He has an enduring interest in the evolutionary bases of behaviour in both human and non-human animals. Steven went on to do his PhD with Luc-Alain Giraldeau at UQAM, followed by post docs with Mark Tanaka at UNSW in Australia, and at then at USC LA in the Program in Molecular and Computational Biology and the Keck School of Medicine. He (et al.) has a podcast called Breaking Bio that is pretty interesting. He is currently Senior Data Scientist and Head of Artificial Intelligence at Babylon Health.

Alisha Brown

Alisha Brown: Alisha graduated with an M.Sc. in the Summer of 2007. Her research spanned developmental influences on navigational behaviour in Convict cichlids, human behaviour in playing game-theoretical models of aggressive communication, and studying digit ratio in anolis lizards, and chickadees. Alisha went on to be Program Manager at the Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association of Northern Alberta, and is now at work with the Dogwood Initiative.

Walter Santos-Espinoza

Walter Santos-Espinoza: Walter grew up in Oliver, B.C. and completed a B.A. in psychology at the U of A in 2003. Following his B.A. degree, Walter completed a MSc. in Neuroscience in 2006 under the supervision of Prof. Sergio Pellis (University of Lethbridge) and Dr. Peter Hurd. Walter's primary research interests focus on sexual differentiation, neurobiology, and behavioural variation. Other interests include sexual selection, endocrinology, and fine ales. He is currently working for the Province of Alberta as a Manager in the Strategic Energy Secretariat.

Allie Bailey

Allie Bailey: (webpage) Allie graduated magna cum laude with a B.Sc. (marine biology) from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2001. After spending a year teaching marine biology at the University of Georgia Marine Education Center and Aquarium in Savannah, Georgia, she moved to Edmonton to pursue her M.Sc. in Psychology under Pete's supervision. In 2005, Allie successfully defended her thesis, "Digit ratio and personality: An organizational explanation for behavioral variation". Every chapter of Allie's thesis was published and can be found under the publications section of this website. Currently, Allie is taking a hiatus from the scientific realm and pursuing other interests.

  Former Honours Students

Former NSERC USRA Students

Former WISEST Students

  Some Other Former Undergrad Students