Gerald Giesbrecht, PhD

PhD in Psychology University of Victoria

Gerald Giesbrecht

Areas of Research

Developmental Psychobiology
In North America, approximately one quarter to one third of all pregnant women experience some form of psychological stress during pregnancy. Although some forms of mild stress may actually be beneficial, exposure to high levels or persistent stress during gestation significantly increases the risk for the emergence of emotional, behavioural, and cognitive disorders in children. The Developmental Psychobiology Laboratory seeks to discover how stress during gestation and in the early years becomes biologically embedded in children’s development. Our objectives are to understand the risk and resilience factors that exacerbate or mitigate the effects of stress on children’s development. Thus, research in the Developmental Psychobiology Lab clusters around two major themes: Understanding the biological mechanisms that project the effects of early experience onto future development Understanding the biological, psychological and social factors that interrupt or transform the negative effects of stress. By understanding how stress 'gets under the skin' of children and what modifiable factors may prevent or ameliorate these effects, the overall aim of Developmental Psychobiology Lab is to improve the health and developmental outcomes of children exposed to early life adversity.

Supervising degrees

Community Health Sciences Doctoral: Seeking Students
Community Health Sciences Masters: Seeking Students
Medical Science Masters: Seeking Students

Working with this supervisor

Potential students will be at the masters or phd level and will have an interest in any of the following: the effects of stress on sleep the effects of stress on neurocognitive development the role of nutrition in buffering or exacerbating the effects of stress resilience factors the role of gut microbiota in brain development and stress

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