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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology

Robin Morrison, Dr.

Robin Morrison


Robin Morrison, Dr.

Ambizione Research Fellow and Group Leader
robin.morrison *
External Website


Research Interests

I am a behavioural ecologist and evolutionary biologist with expertise in gorilla social behaviour.
I primarily work with long-term data from wild populations, using mountain gorillas and western lowland gorillas as model systems to investigate:

  1. the evolution of social systems
  2. the fitness consequences of social relationships within and between groups
  3. social change across the lifespan
  4. how social behaviour can inform conservation practice

I am an Ambizione Research Fellow (2023-2027) and PI of the project “The evolution of social flexibility: investigating the adaptive origins and mechanistic underpinning of our flexible dispersal patterns”, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. I am also an Affiliate Scientist at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund‘s Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda, where I conducted my post-doctoral research. I completed my PhD at the University of Cambridge, conducting field work on western lowland gorillas at Mbeli Bai, Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, Republic of Congo and Ngaga Research Site, Odzala National Park, Republic of Congo.


Morrison, RE., Ndayishimiye E., Stoinski TS., Eckardt W. (2023) Female age and reproductive stage influence copulation patterns in mountain gorillas’ variable mating system. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

Morrison, RE., Eckardt W., Stoinski TS., Rosenbaum, S.  (2023) Cumulative early-life adversity does not predict reduced adult longevity in wild gorillas. Current Biology.

Morrison, RE., Hirwa JP., Ndagijimana F., Vecellio V., Eckardt W., Stoinski TS.  (2022) Cascading effects of social dynamics on the reproduction, survival, and population growth of mountain gorillas. Animal Conservation.

Morrison, RE., Mushimiyimana, Y., Stoinski, TS., Eckardt, WE. (2021). Rapid transmission of respiratory infections within but not between mountain gorilla groups. Scientific Reports.

Morrison, RE., Eckardt, W., Colchero, F., Vecellio, V., Stoinski, TS. (2021). Social groups buffer maternal loss in mountain gorillas.  ELife. 

Morrison, RE., Hirwa, JP., Mucyo, JPS., Stoinski, TS., Vecellio, V., Eckardt, W. (2020). Inter-group relationships influence territorial defence in mountain gorillas. Journal of Animal Ecology.

 Morrison, RE., Eckardt, W., Stoinski, TS., Brent, LJN. (2020). Comparing measures of social complexity: larger mountain gorilla groups do not have a greater diversity of relationships. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

 Morrison, RE., Dunn, J., Bermejo, M., Walsh, PD. (2020). Western gorilla space use suggests territoriality. Scientific Reports.

Morrison, RE., Groenenberg, M., Breuer, T., Manguette, M., Walsh, PD. (2019). Hierarchical Social Modularity in Gorillas. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.