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Emeritus Royal Society Research Professor Robert Aubrey Hinde CBE, FRS, FBA,FRCPsych

Emeritus Royal Society Research Professor  Robert Aubrey Hinde, CBE, FRS, FBA,FRCPsych

Emeritus Professor of Ethology

Office Phone: 01223 (7)47300




1935-40           Oundle School

1940-45           RAF: Pilot, Coastal Command

1946-48           St.John’s College, Cambridge

                        B.A. Ist  Class Hons.,  University of Cambridge;  B.Sc., University of London

1948-50           Research Assistant, Edward Grey Institute
                        Department of Zoology and Balliol College, Oxford

                        D.Phil., Oxford University

1950-54           Curator, Ornithological Field Station, Department of Zoology, Cambridge

                        (then Assistant Director of Research, Sub-Department of Animal Behaviour)

1951-54           Research Fellow, St. John’s College, Cambridge

1956-58           Steward, St. John’s College

1958-63           Tutor, St. John’s College

1958-89; 1994-           Fellow, St. John’s College

1989-94           Master, St. John’s College, Cambridge

1961                Sc.D., University of Cambridge

1963-89           Royal Society Research Professor

1970-89           Honorary Director,
                        Medical Research Council Unit on the Development & Integration of Behaviour

1979                Hitchcock Professor, University of California, Berkeley

1983                Green Visiting Scholar, University of Texas

2002-07           Chair, British Pugwash Group. Later President

2008-               President, Movement for the Abolition of War 


1974    Fellow of the Royal Society

1974    Foreign Hon. Member of the American Academy of Arts &  Sciences

1978    Hon. Foreign Associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences

1986    Hon. Fellow, Balliol College, Oxford

1988    Commander of the British Empire

1990    Member of the Academia Europaea

1990    Hon. Fellow, Trinity College, Dublin

1990    Croonian Lecturer, Royal Society

1996    Royal Medal, Royal Society

1988     Hon. Fellow Royal College of Psychiatry

2002    Hon. Fellow of the British Academy


Honorary  Doctorates

1974    Université Libre, Bruxelles 
1978    Université  de Paris, Nanterre 
1991    Stirling University
1991    Göteborg University
1992    Edinburgh University
1996    University of Western Ontario 
1998    Oxford University


1961    Scientific Medal, Zoological Society of London

1976    Hon. Fellow, American Ornithologists’ Union

1987    Hon. Member, Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour

1988    Hon. Member, Deutsche Ornithologische Gesellschaft

1992    Frink Medal, Zoological Society of London

1997    Society’s Medal, Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour


1980    Osman Hill Medal, Primate Society of Great Britain

Developmental Psychology

1981    Hon. Fellow, British Psychological Society

1991    Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, Society for Research in Child Development

1993    G. Stanley Hall Medal, American Psychological Association

2003    Bowlby/Ainsworth Award for Contributions to Attachment Theory and Research

2012     Honorary Member Society for Emotion and Attachment Studies

Social Psychology

1992    Distinguished Career Award, International Society for the Study of Interpersonal Relationships


1980    Leonard Cammer Award, New York Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University

1987    Albert Einstein Award for Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York


1984    Rivers Award in Social Anthropology, Cambridge University

1990    Huxley Medal, Royal Anthropological Institute



Research Themes

Behavioural Ecology:
All Principal Investigators:

Inter-individual relationships

Research Interests

Understanding the ways in which information, embedded in the genome, interacts with internal and external forces to become the characteristics of the whole individual is a key priority for post-genomics research. This research focuses on the interaction of these genetic instructions within the genome and the cellular environment, within the ecological and cultural contexts of the growing individual, and within the historical and demographic background of the populations to whom the individuals belong. It proposes to bring together anthropological and zoological research that directly addresses the evolutionary biology of human development under a single post-genomics programme, and thus foster this integrative phase of the biological sciences.

Early experience has a profound effect upon the developing organism. At one extreme, development can be pathologically disrupted by exogenous environmental stimuli (e.g. toxins, disease) leading to dysfunctional outcomes, especially if these insults occur at critical periods such as during embryogenesis. At the other extreme, through a process known as developmental plasticity, alternative adult phenotypes may be induced that are adapted to the early life environment or the adult environment predicted by the early environment. This is likely to have been particularly important during mammalian evolution where the foetus is able to predict its future postnatal environment and alter its development accordingly based upon maternal cues transferred via the placenta. Such adaptations are likely to be due to epigenetic changes occurring during sensitive periods in development. Alternatively, such early environmental challenges may be immediately compensated for in the short-term but at some cost to the longer-term fitness of the adult organism, a phenomenon known as 'coping'. In such instances, the adult phenotypes may be adaptive, pathological or neutral.

My empirical research was focused upon developmental plasticity, especially behavioural imprinting in birds and more recently on epigenetics in mice. After retirement, I stopped data collection in the laboratory and have concentrated on writing wide-ranging reviews about development, evolution and anim al welfare. I have also been involved in two enquiries.

Key Publications

over 30 books and

over 300 scientific papers

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