Professor Anna Nekaris PhD

Professor in Anthropology and Course Leader, MSc Primate Conservation



  • Undergraduate: Methods and Analysis in Biological Anthropology
  • Undergraduate: Introduction to Biological Anthropology


  • Postgraduate: Primate Conservation - Conservation Education
  • Postgraduate: MSc Primate Conservation Final Project


I have conducted fieldwork on bats, small carnivores , mouse deer, and giant squirrels; my primary research focus is on primates. I have conducted long-term studies of Indian and Sri Lankan slender lorises. I have also studied the community ecology of Sri Lanka's rainforest primates, including toque macaques and purple-faced langurs. In particular I have examined the effects of fragmentation on populations throughout Sri Lanka's sparse remaining rainforests. My current research project looks at the diversity of Asian slow lorises, both in the field and using museum specimens. Morphological, behavioural and vocal analyses are being used to uncover diversity within this group, and are being used to develop long-term plans for their conservation.

I am currently being funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and am examining the fascinating functional ecology of slow loris venom. We hope to understand why slow lorises have venom and how we can use this knowledge to curtail the horrific pet trade in this unique animals.

Research interests

  • Conservation
  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Speciation
  • Fragmentation
  • Nocturnal mammals and colobines

Postdoctoral research Fellows

Dr Nanda Grow and Dr Grace Fuller: Form and function of slow loris venom - prey, parasites and predation in association with International Animal Rescue and Dr Bryan Grieg Fry @ University of Queensland.

Research students

  • Johanna Rode, Functional ecology of Javan slow loris venom and implications for conservation. (PhD Candidate)
  • Francis Cabana, Wild Bites:  Using Nutritional Ecology (Native Ingredients and Chemical Composition) of the Javan Slow Loris  to Improve Captive Feeding Husbandry


  • PhD and MA in Biological Anthropology, Washington University, St Louis.
  • Certificat de Primatologie, Universite Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France.
  • BA in Biological Anthropology, University of Missouri, Columbia, USA.

Current positions

  • Professor in Primate Conservation
  • Course Tutor MSc Primate Conservation


  • Journal articles

Journal articles

  • Munds R, Nekaris KAI, Ford S (2013). Taxonomy of the Bornean slow loris, with new species Nycticebus kayan (Primates, Lorisidae). American Journal of Primatology. 75:46-56.
  • Coudrat CNZ and Nekaris KAI. (2013) Modelling Niche Differentiation of Co-Existing, Elusive and Morphologically Similar Species: A Case Study of Four Macaque Species in Nakai-Nam Theun National Protected Area, Laos. Animals. 3:45-62. DOI:10.3390/ani3010045
  • Coudrat CNZ, C. Nanthavong and Nekaris KAI (2013) Conservation of the world’s largest population of red-shanked doucs in Laos: density estimation with distance sampling and habitat suitability modelling. Oryx.
  • Regmi GR, Nekaris KAI, Kandel K, Nijman V. (2013) Crop-raiding by Assamese macaques in Nepal. Endangered Species Research.
  • Starr CR, Nekaris KAI, Leung L (2013). A comparison of three survey methods for detecting the elusive pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus) in Eastern Cambodia. Journal of Cambodian Natural History. 123-130.
  • Neilson E, Nijman V, Nekaris KAI. (2013) – A novel method for making conservation assessments of arboreal mammals in difficult terrain: occupancy modeling of the pileated gibbon, Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia. International Journal of Primatology.
  • Nekaris KAI, Boulton A, Nijman V.(2013)High levels of tolerance between commensal human and non-human primates in Sri Lanka assessed by an ethno-primatological approach. Journal of Anthropological Sciences.
  • Rode EJ, Nekaris KAI, Markolf M, Schliehe-Diecks S, Seiler M, Radespiel U, Schwitzer C (2013). Characteristics and use of nests and nest sites of the northern giant mouse lemur Mirza zaza, in Sahamalaza, northwestern Madagascar. Contributions to Zoology.
  • Starr CR, Nekaris KAI. (2013). Diet and feeding behaviour of a gum specialist – the pygmy loris Nycticebus pygmaeus – in Eastern Cambodia.  American Journal of Primatology.