Tue, May 21st Science Seminar: Long-term Mental Health Effects of Wildfire Exposure and Resilience in Youth: Connections to Environmental Values and Civic Engagement

wildfires background with a woung woman silhouette

Event Date

Online - Zoom meeting ID: 93185676906 | Passcode: 528254

Dr. David R. Hessl, Ph.D

For the past 25 years, Dr. Hessl's research has primarily focused on the behavioral, cognitive and psychophysiological assessment and treatment of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders, with a primary focus on fragile X-associated disorders, Down syndrome, and autism spectrum disorder. 

A full Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UC Davis, a licensed clinical psychologist, and the head psychologist at the Fragile X Research and Treatment Center at the MIND Institute, Dr. Hessl directs the Translational Psychophysiology and Assessment Laboratory (T-PAL) at the MIND Institute, which is primarily devoted to development of novel outcome measures (behavioral, cognitive, eye-tracking, ERP, peripheral nervous system) for use in clinical trials for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. 

His early career had a broader focus on mental health in children, having studied the impact of postpartum depression on the development of internalizing and externalizing symptoms in infants and young children, as well as stress-related environmental and physiological risk and protective factors in older children. "For this project, I decided to pivot a portion of my research attention to a topic that has been of great importance to me for many years but does not completely fit into my 'usual' role at the MIND Institute: the impact of climate change on mental health in youth. In particular, besides important questions about how climate-related traumatic events impact mental health, I am also interested in how these events and other developmental or family factors shape youth beliefs and values about the environment and climate change."