Professor & Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, Department of Biological Sciences
Genes and environments that create risk for mental disorders can be investigated in terms of evolved adaptations that have become dysregulated. Dr. Crespi’s research program integrates evolutionary biology and genetics with aspects of human health and disease. Ultimately, his work will advance our understanding of brain function and it will lay the foundation for developing new diagnostics and therapeutics for tempering mental illnesses.
What early life experiences influenced you to become a scientist?
I always loved running around looking at bugs and birds, identifying animals and reading all the books in the library about birds and insects. I knew from how much I enjoyed being outside that I wanted to be a biologist.
What is the most satisfying part of your research?
Finding out something about the world that was never known before, even if it is something small. You can end up changing how other people think. To have some impact on science, knowing that you have made a difference.
What is the overarching goal of your research program?
It involves integrating evolutionary concepts and tools toward understanding humans and to apply the understanding to improve human well-being including mental and physical health. Sometimes this field is called evolutionary medicine.