Scott Deibel

Assistant Professor



Keirstead Hall 109

1 506 452 6135


  • BSc (Hons.) Psychology, Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • MSc Experimental Psychology, Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • PhD Neuroscience, The University of Lethbridge


Virtually all aspects of physiology and behaviour are influenced by the circadian system. I am interested in what happens to the brain and body when an individual’s circadian rhythms are not in synch with their environment.

Much of my focus has been on trying to understand the interplay between memory and circadian rhythms. Primarily why circadian rhythm disruption is harmful to declarative memory. Other interests lie in the contribution of circadian rhythm disruption to the etiology of various diseases.

In my laboratory, we use both qualitative and quantitative techniques to assess circadian rhythms in humans. Including, physiological variables such as hormone concentration, and core-body temperature. We will investigate the influence of the circadian system on mood, aggression, cognition, sleep, brain activity, aging, and various diseases.

With my longstanding collaborators from Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Lethbridge, I am also exploring the above questions in animal models to try and uncover the mechanisms involved. With my computational neuroscience collaborators from the University of Göttingen in Germany, we are designing models to better understand how clocks in the brain interact to modulate behaviour.

Selected publications

Lehr, A., B.*, McDonald, R. J., Thorpe, C. M., Tetzlaff, C, Deibel, S. H.* (2021). A local circadian clock for memory. Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews, 127, 946-957. * Both authors contributed equally to this work.

Deibel, S. H.*, Rota, R.*, Steenland, H. W., Ali, K., McNaughton, B. L., Tatsuno, M., McDonald, R. J. (2020). Assessment of sleep, K-complexes, and sleep spindles in a T21 light- dark cycle. Frontiers in neuroscience, 14, 1020. * Both authors contributed equally to this work.

Belfry, K. D., Deibel S. H., Kolla, N. J. (2020) Time of day matters: an exploratory assessment of chronotype in a forensic psychiatric hospital. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11.

Deibel, S. H., McDonald, R. J., & Kolla, N. J. (2020). Are owls and larks different when it comes to aggression? Behavior, genetics and neurobiology. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 14, 39.

Lewis, L. M., Deibel, S. H., Cleary, J., Viguers, K. B., Jones, K. A., Skinner, D. M., Hallett, D., & Thrope, C. M. (2020). Feeding during the light phase of cycle and phase shifting the light dark cycle both impair hippocampal-dependent mem.ory in rats. Biological Rhythm Research, DOI: 10.1080/09291016.2020.1716557

Mehla, J., Deibel, S. H., Faraji, J., Saito, T., Saido, T. C., Mohajerani, M. H., & McDonald, R. J. (2019). Looking beyond the standard version of the Morris water task in the assessment of mouse models of cognitive deficits. Hippocampus, 29(1), 3-14.

Deibel, S. H., Young, B., Mohajerani, M. H., & McDonald, R. J. (2019). Activity Rhythms Are Largely Intact in APP NL-GF Alzheimer’s Disease Mice. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 71(1), 213-225.

Gidyk, D.C. *, Deibel, S.H. *, Hong, N.S., McDonald, R.J. (2015). Barriers to developing a valid rodent model of Alzheimer’s disease: from behavioral analysis to etiological mechanisms. Front. Neurosci, 9, 1–18. doi:10.3389/fnins.2015.00245. * Both authors contributed equally to this work.

Zelinski, E. L., Deibel, S. H., & McDonald, R. J. (2014). The trouble with circadian clock dysfunction: multiple deleterious effects on the brain and body. Neurosci Biobehav Rev, 40, 80- 101.

Deibel, S. H., Zelinski, E. L., Keeley, R. J. Kovalchuck, O., & McDonald, R. J. (2015). Epigenetic alterations in the suprachiasmatic nucleus and hippocampus contribute to age-related cognitive decline. Oncotarget, 6(27), 23181-23203.

Professional awards

2018, Postdoctoral fellowship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.