Zachary Durisko


Postdoctoral Researcher
PhD Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour

For as long as I can remember I have been profoundly curious about the origins of the human mind. This passion led me first to an undergraduate degree in evolutionary biology and psychology, then to a PhD in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour. My early research focused on the evolutionary and ecological principles that shape cognitive abilities, and I have conducted a great deal of work on the evolution of learning, memory, and decision making using insect model organisms. Late in my PhD, however, my interests matured and I become fixed on finding ways to directly apply such “basic science” principles to actually improve lives. It seemed to me that our theoretical knowledge on such “big questions” was comparatively well-developed, while our applications of this knowledge to everyday life and to our understanding of disease and disorder were (and still are) just beginning.

Currently, I am applying an evolutionary understanding to better understand the etiology of depressive disorders and improve treatment outcomes.

I am affiliated both with the EvoHealth Lab and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), in Toronto, Ontario.

Please see my website for more details and a list of publications.