Bruce Ellis

Bruce J. Ellis, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology and Anthropology at the University of Utah. As an interdisciplinary scientist, Dr. Ellis leverages knowledge from both evolutionary biology and developmental science in his research on social and cognitive adaptations to stress. The guiding premise of his work is that early adversity prompts the development of costly but adaptive strategies that promote survival and reproduction under stressful conditions. Much of Dr. Ellis’ research employs life history theory to model the effects of stress on adaptation and learning processes. A major theoretical focus of his work has been the development of Biological Sensitivity to Context theory and its extension the Adaptive Calibration Model, which focus on how our biobehavioral systems respond to specific features of family environments and the larger ecological context. In 2019, Dr. Ellis received the Distinguished Contributions to Interdisciplinary Understanding of Child Development Award from the Society for Research in Child Development.

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