Professor Robin Dunbar

Subject: Anthropology, Experimental Psychology

Department: Experimental Psychology

Background

I attended Magdalen College School, Brackley, and then went to Magdalen College to read PPP (Psychology & Philosophy), graduating in 1969. After completing a PhD on the behavioural ecology of primates at Bristol University, I went to Cambridge on a SERC Advanced Research Fellowship (URF). I subsequently held research and teaching posts at Stockholm University (Zoology), University College London (Anthropology) and Liverpool University (Psychology and then Biology) before returning to Oxford in 2007. I became Emeritus Fellow in 2017. In 2021, I was elected a Foreign Member of the Finnish Academy of Science & Letters.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the evolution of sociality in primates and other mammals (in particular, feral goats and klipspringer antelope). This has involved understanding the constraints on social group size, and the strategies that different species exploit to break through the glass ceilings these impose. This brings together understanding brain evolution, the relationship between brain regions, cognition and behaviour, the role of the neuroendocrines (in particular, endorphins) in social bonding, and the role of time as a climatically-driven constraint on grouping.

Selected Publications

Department Staff

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Dr Maria Kempnich

Department: Experimental Psychology

Academic position: Lecturer I in Psychology

Email: maria.kempnich@psych.ox.ac.uk

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Professor Clare Harris FBA

Department: Anthropology and the Pitt Rivers Museum

Academic position: Tutorial Fellow

Email: clare.harris@magd.ox.ac.uk

Tel: 01865 276077

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Professor Harvey Whitehouse

Department: Anthropology

Academic position: Professorial Fellow

Email: harvey.whitehouse@anthro.ox.ac.uk

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Professor David Clark, C.B.E.

Department: Experimental Psychology

Appointment: Professorial Fellow

Email: david.clark@psy.ox.ac.uk

Tel: 01865 281607

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Dr Alfonso Moreno

Department: Classics

Appointment: Tutorial Fellow

Officer: Chair of Library and Archives Committee

Email: alfonso.moreno@classics.ox.ac.uk

Tel: 01865 276014

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Professor Laura Fortunato

Department: Anthropology

Appointment: Tutorial Fellow

Officer: Tutor for Equality and Diversity

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Professor Vernon Reynolds

Appointment: Emeritus Fellow

Academic position: Anthropology

Email: vreynolds@btopenworld.com

Tel: 01323 871136

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Michael Leadbetter

Department: Archaeology

Academic position: Lecturer II in Archaeology

Email: michael.leadbetter@queens.ox.ac.uk

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Professor Lucy Bowes

Department: Experimental Psychology

Appointment: Tutorial Fellow

Email: lucy.bowes@psy.ox.ac.uk

Tel: 01865 276085/271322

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Dr Adam Kenny

Department: Anthropology

Academic position: Calleva Research Centre Postdoctoral Research Associate

Email: adam.kenny@anthro.ox.ac.uk

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Dr Neil Armstrong

Department: Anthropology

Academic position: Stipendiary Lecturer in Social and Cultural Anthropology

Email: neil.armstrong@anthro.ox.ac.uk