Robin Ian MacDonald Dunbar born 28 June 1947 is a British anthropologist and evolutinary psychologist and a speicalist in primate behaviour. He is currenty head of the Social and Evolutinary neuroscience Research Group in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, and a visiting professor at Aalto University. he is best known for formulating Dunbar’s number, a measurement of the cognitive limit to the number of individuals with whom any one person can maintain stable relationships.
Dunbar, son of an engineer, waseducated at Magdalen College School, Brackley. He then went on to magdalen College, Oxford, where his teachers included Nico Tinbergen and completed his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Philosophy in 1969. Dunbar then went on to the Department of Psychology of the University of Bristol and completed his PhD in 1974 on the social organisation of the gelada baboon Theropithecus gelada.
he spent two years as a freeelance sicence write.
Dunbar’s academic and research career includes the University of Bristol, University of Cambridge from 1977 untill 1982, and University College London from 1987 until 1994. In 1994, Dunbar became Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at University of Liverpool, but he left Liverpool in 2007 to take up the post of Director of the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropoloy, University of Oxford.
Dunbar was formerly co-director of the British Academy Centenary Research Project From Lucy to Lnaguage : The Archaeology of the Social Brain and was involved in the BACRP identifying the Universal Religious Repertoire.
Digital versions of selected published articles authored or co-authored by him are available from the University of Liverpool Evolutionary Psychology and Behavioural Ecology Research Group.
In 2014, Dunbar was awarded the Huxley Memorial Medal, estabished in 1900 in memory of Thomas Henry Huxley, for sercies to anthropology by the Council of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Greate Britain and Ireland, the highest honour at the disposal of the RAI. Dunbar is also a British Humanist Association Distinguished Supporter of Humanism.
Awards and homours