Hurd Lab Members
Prof. Peter 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.
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.
Michele Moscicki: Ph.D. student, Michele recently 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 are centered on cerebral lateralization and social behaviour in cichlids. She is supported by an NSERC CGS-D scholarship and an Alberta Ingenuity Studentship.
Cheryl Sedlak Seaver: Ph.D. 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.
Tom Vaughan-Johnston: is a Psychology Honours student working in the lab examining beliefs, ethics and generosity in humans.
Zoe Francis: is a Department of Psychology Honours student examining social behaviour and cognition and sexual differentiation of the brain in humans. NSERC USRA 2012
Rochelle Evans: is a Psychology Honours student.
Jay Hennenfent: is a Department of Psychology Honours student.
Karine Whiteside: is an Athabasca University student working in the lab on studies examining the relationship between personality and maze learning in a species of cichlid fish.
Jacob Baran: (NSERC USRA Summer 2012) is working on the relationship between brain and personality in cichlid fish for PSYCO 496 credit.
Erin Nesjan: is studying the role of social status in females on hormone producing neurons in the the hypothalamus of female cichlid fish.
Sayeed Devraj-Kizuk: data on lateralization of brain and behaviour in cichlids for PSYCO 299 credit.
Owais Yahya: (NSERC USRA Summer 2012) is working on the relationship between neuropeptides and sexual strategy in cichlid fish for PSYCO 496 credit.
Julie Couture: is collecting data on the genetics of personality in humans for PSYCO 496 credit.
Past Hurd Lab members
Former Graduate Students
Adam Reddon: (webpage) 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 is now working on his PhD with Sigal Balshine at McMaster University.
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: (webpage) 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 is currently a member of Luc-Alain Giraldeau's lab at UQAM.
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 is now Program Manager at the Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association of Northern Alberta
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.
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
Veronica Lepp: (NSERC USRA 2011, 2012) was an Honours student in the Centre for Neuroscience examining the effects of experimentally applied stress on personality tests and neuron morphology in the dorsomedial telencephalon in Convict Cichlids. Veronica is now in Med School at the UofA.
Julia Grochowski: a Biology Honours student 2010-2011, examined stress and personality in Convict Cichlids and was co-supervised by Colleen Cassady St. Clair.
Natalie Dinsdale: (NSERC USRA 2008, 2009) Natalie completed her Honours B.Sc. investigating the inter-relationships between social intelligence, indirect aggression and putative morphological indicators of prenatal testosterone exposure. Natalie went on to work at the Autism Research Centre of the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital as well as serving as the Coordinator of Human Research in the Hurd Lab. She is currently a graduate student in Bernie Crespi's lab at SFU.
Amy Chee: Honours' student co-supervised by Doug Wong-Wylie (NSERC USRA Summer student, 2006, & 2007, 2008). Amy worked on neuroplasticity of GnRH+ cells in the convict cichlid POA. She is currently a graduate student in Neuroscience at Queen's University.
Maria Modanu: Maria graduated from the Honour's psychology program in the Summer of 2006. Her research in the lab included her Honour's thesis work on assymmetry, escalation and outcome in drosophila fights. Other work in the lab investigated convict cichlid aggression and social status, as well as digit ratio and personality in chickadees, chickens, and Richardson's ground squirrels. Contrary to belief, she is not aggressive by nature and her interest in the subject is purely academic. She is currently a graduate student in Maydianne Andrade's lab at the University of Toronto - Scarborough.
Ria Ghai: Biology department Honours' student (co-supervised with Norm Stacey) investigated behavioural responses to pheromone exposure in cichlid fish.
Former Undergrad Students
Sydele Merrigan: Studied the role of social status on hormone producing neurons in the the hypothalamus of female cichlid fish. She is currently an intern at the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury through the Department's Internship program.
Kathryn Vaillancourt: (NSERC USRA 2008, 2010) has worked on behavioural lateralization and personality in cichlid fish. Her recent work in the lab has examined the relationship between digit ratio, behaviour, and genetic variation in humans. She worked at the Autism Research Centre of the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital while serving as the Coordinator of Human Research, and Director of Molecular Genetics in the Hurd Lab and conducting all the molecular genetics labwork in the Sex and Violence lab before starting a PhD. with Gustavo Turecki at the The Douglas Institute at McGill University.
Jasmine Mah: (NSERC USRA 2010 & 2011) Jasmine is working on a collaboration with Keith Tierney examining the effects of early exposure to neuroxotins on the development of fish brain and personality, and has also investigated the relationship between cerebral lateralization and body size in cichlid fry in the Sex & Violence lab.
Nicole McEwen: (PSYCO 496 Fall 2010, Winter 2011, PSYCO 498 Spring & Summer 2011) is working on a project in collaboration with Dinsdale NL and Bernie Crespi examining the genetics of personality variation.
Shawna La (PSYCO 496 Winter 2011) worked on a project comparing digit ratios of Short Attack Latency and Long Attack Latency mice in collaboration with Sietse de Boer
Daniel Ostapowicz and Nick Conradi: worked in the lab as volunteers, among other research projects they examined lateralization of brain structures in convict cichlids.
Joshua Noble: Josh was a Psych student at King's University College and worked in the lab investigating digit ratios other than 2D:4D.
Yondu Mori: worked in the lab as a WISEST student during the Summer of 2010 examining behavioural lateralization in convict fichlid fry.
Chris Evernden: collected behavioural and genetics data from human subjects for PSYCO 299 credit.
Jaimie Rathor: (2008) Directed studies student working on cerebral lateralization and aggression in male convict cichlids.
Crystal Edgington: (2008) Directed studies student investigated relationships between digit ratio, emotional intelligence and indirect aggression
Dustin Kolb: Worked as an Independent Studies student (2007) examining the relationships between exercise, happiness and putative measures of prenatal testosterone exposure.
Kerra Quinn: Worked as an Independent Studies student (2007) examining the relationships between digit ratio, emotional intelligence and indirect aggression.
Parveen Rai: Worked as an Independent Studies student (2007) examining 2D:4D and penalty minutes in college & university hockey players.
Maddalena Genovese: Worked as a directed studies student and lab volunteer (2005) examining agreement between physical markers of prenatal androgen exposure, and their correlation to behavioural traits.
Nalin Fernando: (NSERC USRA Summer student 2006). Nalin's work investigated the effect of artificial selection for behavioural traits on digit ratio in mice. He has completed his B.Sc. in Genetics, and continues to study Psychology.
Troy Iwanyshyn:. In addition to empirical work examiining human behaviour in communication games, Troy applied his philosophy background to the problem of applying extensive form game theory to a project to clearly define various forms of signal "meaning".
Shaina Archer: (NSERC USRA Summer student 2005). Shaina examined aggressive and mate choice behaviours in convict cichlids. She is currently a graduate student in the University of Toronto's Genetic Counselling program.
Honey Case: Lab technician (Summer of 2005). Honey worked on a directed studies project investigating digit ratio variation and behavioural variation in chickens.
Andrea Becking: Vounteer (2004 to 2006). Andrea assisted many lab members on a wide range of projects from fish lab tasks to measuring lack-capped chickadee digit ratios and testing humans for behavioural effects of colds and flues. She has since graduated from the UBC School of Nursing.
Sarrah Mohamedbhai: Vounteer (Summer 2004).
Patricia Gongal: (webpage) Patricia worked in the lab as a technician Summer of 2004 after working on a directed studies project the previous term, in which she investigated digit ratio effects in mice. She is currently a PhD student in Biology in Andrew J. Waskiewicz lab, but continues to be consulted regularly by Hurd lab members for her expertise in measuring digit ratio in fetal mice and fidgety birds.