University of Calgary

Gerald Giesbrecht

  • Professor
  • Full Time Faculty


Dr. Giesbrecht is a clinical and developmental psychologist at the rank of Associate Professor in the Departments of Paediatrics and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. He is also a faculty affiliate in the Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Giesbrecht is a registered Psychologist in the province of Alberta and has extensive experience working with children and families.

Dr. Giesbrecht’s research program focuses on the psychobiology of stress, and especially on the effects of stress during pregnancy on child development. He is currently studying the effects of risk and resilience factors, such as prenatal nutrition, social support, the gut microbiome, and temperament on children’s mental health and neurodevelopmental outcomes. The overall objectives of his research program are: to identify the mechanisms by which in utero exposure to maternal stress becomes biologically embedded in children’s development, to identify risk and resilience factors that modify the effects of early life stress exposure on children’s development, and to develop effective intervention and prevention strategies to prevent or reduce the effects of early life stress exposure on children’s development. His research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Sick Kids Foundation, and the Weston Foundation.


Photograph of Gerald Giesbrecht
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