Evolution and Psychiatry Special Interest Group

Chair: Professor Henry O’Connell                                                                                             Vice-Chair: Dr Mara Petrut


This SIG aims to raise awareness of the evolutionary basis to psychiatric illness and to explore the potential for the clinical and research applications of this newly emerging field of study.

The SIG will work to complement the College objectives.

  1. The SIG will meet every three months to present and discuss ideas for research and writing in the area of evolutionary science applied to psychiatry.
  2. The SIG will aim to optimise communication between members via three monthly meetings and emails.
  3. The SIG will have a Chair and Vice Chair.
  4. The SIG will aim to submit contributions for the CPsychI Spring and Winter meetings every year, and other relevant specific meetings in Ireland and worldwide.
  5. The SIG will aim to collaborate with other relevant national and international professional organisations, such as the Evolutionary Psychiatry Special Interest Group of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
  6. In the longer term, the SIG will aim to produce statement papers on various mental disorders and on healthcare strategy.
  7. In the longer term, the SIG will aim to develop research proposals and projects.

SIG Presentations

  • Inaugural meeting on Darwin Day, 12th February 2021, Presentation on “Health Care: Do we really know who we are treating” by Prof Mike Watts – https://youtu.be/DJ_7C9N9Mak
  • Second Special Interest Group Meeting, 21st May 2021, Presentation on “The Evolutionary Psychology of Eating Disorders: The Sexual Competition Hypothesis” by Dr Riadh Abed – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-X-qnpK_h8
  • Third Special Interest Group Meeting, 15th October 2021, Presentation on “Evolutionary Perspectives on autism and ADHD” by Dr Annie Swanepoel – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBbftpM-CoA

Dates of upcoming meetings in 2022

  • Friday, 4th February @3pm
  • Friday, 5th May @10am
  • Friday, 14th October @10am

College Faculty/SIG and committee meetings can garner 1 internal or external CPD credit per meeting up to a maximum of 10 credits per PCS year.

To contact the group

To contact the group or if you would like to join, please email Helen Murray, hmurray@irishpsychiatry.ie or call (01) 6618450.