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Bernard Crespi
Academic background
EducationBSc, 1980, University of Chicago
PhD., 1987, University of Michigan
ThesisBehavioral ecology of mycophagous Thysanoptera (1987)
Academic work
InstitutionsSimon Fraser University

Bernard Joseph Crespi FRSC is an American professor of evolutionary biology at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. His research focuses on social evolution across multiple scales, using genetic and ecological approaches. He is one of the initiators of the imprinted brain hypothesis.

In 2010, he was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.


After earning his PhD and conducting postdoctoral work in Europe, Crespi joined the faculty at Simon Fraser University in 1992.[1] In 2006, he was the recipient of a Killam Research Fellowship.[2]

In 2008, Crespi published a paper describing observed patterns of imprinting in humans and other organisms. He explained that Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic process by which certain genes are expressed in a parent-of-origin-specific manner. The imprinted brain theory is a variant of the conflict theory of imprinting which argues that in diploid organisms, such as humans, the maternal and paternal set of genes may have antagonistic reproductive interests since the mother and father may have antagonistic interests regarding the development of the child.[3][4][5][6] Following this, he was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.[7]

In 2013, Crespi and fellow UMich alumni Kyle Summers co-edited "Human Social Evolution, The Foundational Works of Richard D. Alexander," which was published through the Oxford University Press.[8]

In 2016, Crespi won SFU's Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy for his evolutionary biology research.[9] The next year, he conducted a study with Gerhard Gries, and Regine Gries to study the effect of natural selection on stick insects and mating.[10] He was also selected as a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Evolutionary Genetics and Psychology.[11]


  1. ^ "Cafe Scientifique SFU". scienceinthecity.com. September 29, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  2. ^ "Twenty-one Canadian scientists and scholars win Killam Research Fellowships". canada.ca. Ottawa. February 28, 2006. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  3. ^ Crespi B, Badcock C (June 2008). "Psychosis and autism as diametrical disorders of the social brain" (PDF). The Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 31 (3): 241–61, discussion 261–320. doi:10.1017/S0140525X08004214. PMID 18578904. S2CID 346021.
  4. ^ "The Imprinted Brain Theory". www.edge.org. Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  5. ^ Skaar DA, Li Y, Bernal AJ, Hoyo C, Murphy SK, Jirtle RL (2012). "The human imprintome: regulatory mechanisms, methods of ascertainment, and roles in disease susceptibility". ILAR Journal. 53 (3–4): 341–58. doi:10.1093/ilar.53.3-4.341. PMC 3683658. PMID 23744971.
  6. ^ Mokkonen M, Crespi BJ (April 2015). "Genomic conflicts and sexual antagonism in human health: insights from oxytocin and testosterone". Evolutionary Applications. 8 (4): 307–25. doi:10.1111/eva.12244. PMC 4408143. PMID 25926877.
  7. ^ "Royal Society recognizes SFU biologist". sfu.ca. September 23, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  8. ^ "New book: "Human Social Evolution, The Foundational Works of Richard D. Alexander"". umich.edu. January 23, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  9. ^ "Evolutionary biologist Bernard Crespi receives 2016 Sterling Prize for revolutionizing psychiatry". sfu.ca. August 24, 2016. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  10. ^ "Cracking Darwinism: natural perfumes mediate mate choice and speciation in stick insects says SFU study". sfu.ca. February 21, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  11. ^ "Bernard Crespi". chairs-chaires.gc.ca. 2012-11-29. Retrieved October 18, 2019.