Russil Durrant

Dr Russil Durrant profile picture

Co-Director (undergraduate) School of Social and Cultural Studies


Teaching in 2020


BA MA PhD (Cant)

Research specialties

Criminal and forensic psychology; violent offending; homicide; drugs and crime; collective violence; the psychology of punishment; evolutionary criminology.

Current research

My current research focuses on the application of evolutionary theory to the understanding of criminal behaviour, with a particular focus on aggression, violence, and war. I am also carrying out research on the psychology of punishment and sentencing and how responses to crime are shaped by a range of different factors.

Recent publications

Durrant, R. (2019). Evolutionary approaches to understanding crime: explaining the gender gap in offending. Psychology, Crime & Law, 25(6), 589-608. doi:10.1080/1068316x.2018.1558224

Ward, T., Durrant, R., & Sullivan, J. (2019). Understanding crime: a multilevel approach. Psychology, Crime & Law, 25(6), 709-711. doi:10.1080/1068316x.2019.1572754

Durrant, R. (2018). Forensic neuroscience: problems and promises. Psychology, Crime and Law, 24(3), 352-360. doi:10.1080/1068316X.2017.1414819

Durrant, R. I., & Poppelwell, Z. (2017). Religion, Crime, and Punishment: An Evolutionary Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan

Durrant, R. (2017). An Introduction to Criminal Psychology (2 ed.). Routledge.

Durrant, R. (2017). Crime prevention: approaches, practices, and evaluations. Police Practice and Research, 18(4), 2 pages. doi: 10.1080/15614263.2017.1283899

Durrant, R. (2017). Why do protective factors protect? An evolutionary developmental perspective. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 32, 4-10. doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2016.12.002

Durrant, R. (2016). Putting risk factors in their place: An evolutionary developmental approach to understanding risk. Psychology, Crime and Law, 22, 17-32.

Durrant, R., & Ward, T. (2015). Evolutionary criminology: Toward a comprehensive explanation for crime. London, UK: Academic Press. ISBN: 978-0-12-397937-7

Ward, T., & Durrant, R. (2014). Psychological altruism, empathy, and offender rehabilitation. In H. L. Maibom (Ed.), Empathy and morality (pp. 210-229). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ward, T., & Durrant, R. (2013). Altruism, empathy, and sex offender treatment. International Journal of Behavioural Consultation and Therapy, 8, 66-71.

Goodall, W., & Durrant, R. (2013). Regional variation in sentencing: The incarceration of aggravated drink drivers in the New Zealand district courts. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology 46, 422-447.

Durrant, R. (2013). An introduction to criminal psychology. New York: Routledge.

Durrant, R., & Ellis, B.J. (2013). Evolutionary psychology. In R.J. Nelson & S.J.Y. Mizumori (Eds.), Handbook of psychology, Vol. 3: Behavioral neuroscience (2nd Ed.) (pp. 26-51). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

Durrant, R. (2013). Alcohol and violence in evolutionary perspective. In M. McMurran (Ed.), Alcohol-related violence: Prevention and treatment (pp. 61-79). John Wiley & Sons.

Durrant, R., & Ward, T. (2012). The role of evolutionary explanations in criminology. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Criminology, 4, 1-37.

Durrant R, (2011) 'Anxiety, alcohol use, and aggression: Untangling the causal pathways', Legal and Criminological Psychology, 16, 2, September, pp. 372-378.

Durrant, R., & Ward, T. (2011). Evolutionary explanations in the social and behavioural sciences: Introduction and overview. Aggression and Violent Behaviour, 16 (5), 361-370

Durrant R, (2011) 'Collective violence: An evolutionary perspective', Aggression and Violent Behaviour, April, pp. 1-15.

Ward A, Durrant R, (2011) 'Evolutionary psychology and the rehabilitation of offenders: constraints and consequences', Aggression and Violent Behaviour, 16, February, pp. 444-452.

Ward T. & Durrant R, (2011) 'Evolutionary behavioural science and crime: Aetiological and intervention implications', Legal and Criminological Psychology, 16, 2, July, pp. 193-210.

Durrant R, Fisher S, Grafin von Thun und Hohenstein M, (2011) 'Understanding punishment responses to drug offenders: The role of social threat, individual harm, moral wrongfulness, and emotional warmth', Contemporary Drug Probelms, 38, 1, Spring, pp. 147-177.

Durrant R. (2009). 'Born to kill? A critical evaluation of homicide adaptation theory', Aggression and Violent Behaviour, 14 , pp. 374-381.

Durrant R., Adamson S, Todd F, Sellman D. (2009). 'Drug use and addiction: evolutionary perspective', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 43 (2009), pp. 1049-1056.

Clegg Smith, K., Terry-McElrath, Y., Wakfield, M., & Durrant, R. (2005). Media advocacy and newspaper coverage of tobacco issues: A comparative analysis of 1 year’s print news in the United States and Australia. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 7, 289-299.

Thakker, J., & Durrant, R. (2006). News coverage of sexual offending in New Zealand, 2003. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 35, 28-35.

Wakefield, M., & Durrant, R. (2006). Effects of exposure of youth at risk for smoking to television advertising for nicotine replacement therapy and Zyban®: an experimental study. Health Communication, 19, 253-258.

Durrant, R., & Thakker, J. (2003). Substance use and abuse: Cultural and historical perspectives . Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Wakefield, M., Durrant, R., Terry-McElrath, Y., Ruel, E., Balch, G.I., Anderson, S., Szczypka, G., Emery, S., & Flay, B. (2003). Youth appraisal of anti-smoking advertisements: A comparative study in the United States, Australia, and Britain. Tobacco Control, 12 suppl 2, ii82-6.

Durrant, R., Wakefield, M., McLeod, K., Clegg-Smith, K. Chapman, S., (2003). Tobacco in the news: An analysis of newspaper coverage of tobacco issues in Australia, 2001. Tobacco Control, 12 suppl 2, ii1-7.
Durrant, R., & Ellis, B.J. (2003).

Evolutionary psychology: Core assumptions and methodology. In M. Gallagher & R.J. Nelson (Eds.), Comprehensive handbook of psychology, volume three: Biological psychology (pp. 1-35). New York: John Wiley & Sons.


Teaching in 2020