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Dr. Gillian Crozier

Environment, Culture and Values - Canada Research Chair


Research Involves

Analyzing the relationships between environmental and cultural factors using real-world examples and exploring moral aspects of international healthcare.


Research Relevance

This research will lead to a clearer understanding of cultural evolution and of the relationships between environmental, cultural and moral factors.


How do Environment, Culture and Values Interact?

The application of Darwinian models to the study of cultural change—known as cultural evolution—has sparked much interest and criticism in recent decades.

Dr. Gillian K. D. Crozier, Canada Research Chair in Environment, Culture and Values, is using her expertise in the philosophy of science to investigate the relationship between cultures and environments by applying evolutionary theoretical models to the analysis of cultural change. Crozier is exploring the potential of computer simulations to evaluate theoretical debates surrounding cultural evolution.

Her recent practical work has shown how observed patterns of bird song propagation in different natural environments provide a rich testing ground for cultural evolutionary ideas.

In her other area of research, Crozier is using bioethics to investigate the moral dimensions of international trade in health-related goods and services in our increasingly global marketplace. For example, the increasing movements of health care workers and patients raise a variety of challenges and opportunities in the pursuit of social justice. Are migrant healthcare workers generally better off having migrated? How can we weigh the impacts of large scale migration on health care recipients in the source and destination countries?

Crozier’s use of challenging real-world cases is helping in the development of the promising and exciting field of cultural evolution. In addition, her use of bioethics is helping us focus on moral implications of decisions involving people who are in vulnerable circumstances.

Video from TEDx Simulating bird songs to study cultural evolution