Anna Nekaris

Author Biography and Research Interests: 

My main research interests fall under the areas conservation, phylogenetics and speciation. To study various aspects of these fields, my fieldwork has taken me to Trinidad, Senegal, Utah, India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Indonesia, Uganda and Kenya.

Although I have conducted fieldwork on bats, small carnivores (including civets and cats), 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. Amongst others, research topics have included: behavioural ecology, life history and foraging behaviour. I have also looked at the community ecology of Sri Lanka's rainforest primates, including toque macaques and purple-faced leaf monkeys. In particular I have examined the effects of fragmentation on populations throughout Sri Lanka's sparse remaining rainforests.

I have had extensive training in Distance sampling, census techniques and home range analysis and have applied this to my primate research. Census techniques is a key area that teach on the MSc in Primate Conservation.

My current research project looks at the diversity of Asian slow lorises, both in the field and using museum specimens. This and last year, my research takes me to Java, Sumatra, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore and Vietnam, where at least five species of slow loris are found. Morphological, behavioural and vocal analyses are being used to uncover diversity within this group.


Searching for the Yeti: Could the Abominable Snowman really be out there?

Anna Nekaris

9th December 2008; Science Oxford

Could the Yeti really exist, or is it just a popular legend? Anthropologist and primate expert, Dr Anna Nekaris, will be explaining how you find unknown animals, looking at examples of new species of primate still being discovered today, and exploring the likelihood of the Yeti's existence. She will also bring us up-to-date with recent research into unidentified hairs reportedly taken from a Yeti-like creature in India.

  • Rasmussen DT and Nekaris KAI. 1998. The Evolutionary History of the Lorisiform Primates. Folia Primatologica. 69 (sup. 1): 250-287.
  • Nekaris KAI. 2001. Activity budget and positional behavior of the Mysore slender loris: implications for slow climbing locomotion. Folia Primatologica. 72: 228-241
  • Nekaris KAI. Observations on mating, birthing and parental care in three subspecies of slender loris in India and Sri Lanka (Loris tardigradus and Loris lydekkerianus). Folia Primatologica, supp. (S. Gursky and KAI Nekaris, eds.). 74:312-336.
  • Gursky SG and Nekaris KAI. An Introduction to Mating, Birthing and Rearing systems of Nocturnal Prosimians. Folia Primatologica Supp 2003. 74:241-245. Edited Volumes
  • Primate Anti-Predator Strategies(with Gursky G and Nekaris KAI), Springer, 2007


  • Nekaris KAI and Bearder SK. The strepsirrhine primates of Asia and Mainland Africa: diversity shrouded in darkness. in Primates in Perspective, SK Bearder, C. Campbell, A Fuentes, K MacKinnon, M Panger, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007
  • The strepsirrhine primates of Asia and Mainland Africa: diversity shrouded in darkness in Primates in Perspective, SK Bearder, C. Cawdell, A Fuentes, K MacKinnon, M Panger, Oxford University Press, 2006
  • Care of rescued South Indian lorises with guidlines for hand-rearing infants in Back to the Wild: Studies in Wildlife Rehabilitation, Menon, V., Ashraf, N. V. K.; Panda, P.; Mainkar, K. , Wildlife Trust of India, New Delhi, 2005
  • Bearder SK, Nekaris KAI and Lloyd J. Tips from the bush. In (D. Curtis and J. Setchell, eds.): Handbook of Primate Field Methods. Cambridge University Press. Pp. 309-323., 2003
  • Bearder SK, Nekaris KAI, and Buzzell CA. 2002. Dangers in the night: are some nocturnal primates afraid of the dark? In (L Miller, ed.):Eat or Be Eaten: Predator Sensitive Foraging in Primates, Cambridge University Press. Pp. 21-40., 2002

Journal Articles

  • All lorises are not slow: rapid arboreal locomotion in the newly recognised red slender loris (Loris tardigradus tardigradus) of southwestern Sri Lanka (with Stephens NJ), in American Journal of Primatology, 69, 2007
  • The social lives of Mysore slender lorises, in American Journal of Primatology, 68, 2006
  • Primates in peril: the world’s top 25 most endangered primates, 2004-2006: Horton Plains slender loris. , in Primate Conservation , 20, 2006
  • Survey of Hylobates albibarbis in peat swamp, Central Kalimantan, Borneo (with Buckley C, Husson S), in Primates, 4, 2006
  • A re-evaluation of the role of vision for the activity rhythms of nocturnal primates (with Bearder SK, Curtis D), in Folia Primatologica, 75, 2006
  • Foraging behaviour of the slender loris: implications for theories of primate origins. , in Journal of Human Evolution, 49, 2005
  • Relationship Between Forest Structure and Floristic Composition and Population Density of the Southwestern Ceylon Slender Loris (Loris tardigradus tardigradus) in Masmullah Forest, Sri Lanka (with Liyanage WKDD, Gamage S), in Mammalia, 69(2), 2005
  • Nekaris KAI. 2003. Spacing system of the Mysore slender loris (Loris lydekkerianus lydekkerianus). American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 121:86-96
  • Nekaris, KAI and Rasmussen DT. 2003. Diet of the Slender Loris. International Journal of Primatology. 24(1):33-46.
  • Nekaris KAI and Jayewardene J. Pilot study and conservation status of the slender loris (Loris tardigradus and Loris lydekkerianus) in Sri Lanka. Primate Conservation - Journal of the IUCN Primates Specialist Group. 19: 83-90., 2003
  • Nekaris KAI. Rediscovery of the slender loris in Horton Plains National Park, Sri Lanka. Asian Primates 8(03):1-7., 2003



© 2011. All content,