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The Australian National University

Professor Colin Groves


Position: Professor of Bioanthropology


Phone: + 61 2 6125 4590

Research interests

I have done museum work on primates and other mammals all over the world. My lifelong studies on classification, variation and evolution of living primates culminated in 2001 with the publication of my book Primate Taxonomy (Smithsonian Institution Press), but it continues with new discoveries and new assessments. I am regularly invited to address conferences on this subject – most recently the so-called Goettingen Freilandtage (an annual conference of primatologists in Germany) in December, 2005, and the African Genesis symposium in Johannesburg in January, 2006.

I am also still publishing on human evolution (a paper in press with a PhD student, Debbie Argue, and two other colleagues, on the infamous Hobbit, Homo floresiensis), and on the taxonomy of ungulates and other animals, including elephants and carnivores. Biogeography is an increasingly important theme in my research, giving clues to reconstruction of past climates and geography.

My work has taken me to such places as Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, India, Iran, China and Indonesia. In the past few years I have done fieldwork in Sri Lanka and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

I regularly collaborate in research with colleagues in Europe, China and Sri Lanka, among other places, although much of my research is sole-authored.

Recent publications (past 18 months)

2005 The taxonomy of Primates in the laboratory context. In The Laboratory Primate, Sonia Wolfe-Coote, ed., Elsevier Academic Press, 3-15.

2005 Domestic and wild mammals: naming and identity. In Animal Names, A. Minelli, G. Ortalli & G. Sangha, eds, Venice, Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, 151-157.

2005 Geographic variation within Eastern Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes cf schweinfurthii Giglioli, 1872). Australasian Primatology, 17, 2: 19-46. (View full text as pdf)

2005 (with E.Meijaard). Interspecific variation in Moschiola, the Indian Chevrotain. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 12:413-421. (View full text as pdf)

2005 The genus Cervus in eastern Eurasia. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 52:14-22 and DOI 10.1007/s10344-005-0011-5. (View full text as pdf)

2005 Orders Monotremata, Dasyuromorphia, Peramelemorphia, Notoryctemorphia, Diprotodontia and Primates in Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Don E Wilson & DeeAnn M. Reader (eds) 3rd edition, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, pp 1-2, 22, 23-37, 38-42, 43-70, 111-184.

2005 (with K.Helgen). Biodiversity in Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats. Science, 308:199.

2005 (with A.Mootnick). A New Generic Name for the Hoolock Gibbon (Hylobatidae). International Journal of Primatology, 26:971-975. (View full text as pdf)

2006 (with A B. Rylands, R.A.Mittermeier, L. Cortes-Ortiz & J J.H Hines). Taxonomy and distributions of Mesoamerican Primates. In New Perspectives in the Study of Mesoamerican Primates, A.Estrada, P. A. Garber, M.S.M Pavelka & L. Luecke, eds, Springer, 29-79.

2006 (Articles) Biogeography; Cladistics; Fossey; Orangutan; Primate Taxonomy; Yeti. In Encyclopaedia of Anthropology, H. James Birx, ed., Sage Publications (Thousand Oaks, etc).

2006 (with D. Argue and D. Donlon & R. Wright). Homo floresiensis: Microcephalic, pygmoid, Australopithecus, or Homo? Journal of Human Evolution, 51(4):360-374.

Courses currently taught

BIAN2126/BIAN6513 Primate Evolutionary Biology
BIAN2127/BIAN6514 Primate Ecology and Behaviour
BIAN2013/BIAN6013 Human Evolution
ARCH2108/ARCH6108 Animals Plants and People (co-taught with Matt Prebble and Simon Haberle)
BIAN3016/BIAN6518 Analysis of Mammalian Remains
Honours Seminar on Evolutionary Theory
Sundry ‘Service Lectures’ in First-year Courses
Thesis-writing Seminars 

I am the primary supervisor of 9 PhD and 2 MA students, and on the panel of 2 others.


See Colin Groves’ personal website

Updated: 17 November 2010/ Responsible Officer:  Head of School / Page Contact:  Web Publisher