Russell Mittermeier

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Russell Alan Mittermeier
Born (1949-11-08) November 8, 1949 (age 65)
Bronx, New York, United States
Nationality American
Fields Anthropology
Institutions Conservation International
Alma mater Dartmouth College
Known for Biological Diversity and Ecosystem Conservation

Russell Alan Mittermeier (born November 8, 1949) is a primatologist and herpetologist. He has written several books for both popular and scientist audiences, and has authored some 300 scientific papers.


Mittermeier was born in New York City. He received his B.A.(summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Dartmouth college and Ph.D. from Harvard University in biological anthropology for a thesis entitled,“Distribution, Synecology, and Conservation of Suriname Monkeys”in 1977.

He has conducted fieldwork for over 30 years on three continents and in more than 20 countries in mainly tropical locations, notably Brazil, Suriname and Madagascar. Mittermeier's fieldwork has been focused on primates, protected areas, and other conservation issues and he is considered an expert on such topics as biological diversity and its value to humanity, ecosystem conservation, tropical biology and species conservation.[1]

Mittermeier has been particularly interested in the discovery and description of species new to science. He has described a total of 12 new species (three turtles, three lemurs, and six Amazonian monkeys) and has seven species named in his honor (three frogs, a lizard, two lemurs, and an ant).

Mittermeier was the president of Conservation International from 1989 to 2014. In addition to his work at CI, Mittermeier has served as Chairman of the IUCN-World Conservation Union Species Survival Commission's Primate Specialist Group since 1977, and as the Chairman of the World Bank's Task Force of Biological Diversity in 1988 and 1989. He also serves as President of the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation and an Adjunct Professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Prior to coming to Conservation International, he was Vice President for Science at the World Wildlife Fund.

Awards and honors[edit]

Mittermeier has received many awards, including:

Selected bibliography[edit]

Among the many books coauthored by Russell Mittermeier, Hotspots, Wilderness Areas, and Transboundary Conservation stand out. Mittermeier is also editor in chief of the book series Handbook of the Mammals of the World.


  1. ^ Mittermeier, Russell A., & Cheney, Dorothy L. (1987), "Conservation of Primates and Their Habitats", in Smuts, B.B., Cheney, D.L., Seyfarth, R.M., Wrangham, R.W., Struhsaker, T.T. (eds), Primate Societies, Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, pp. 477–490., ISBN 0-226-76715-9 

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