skip to content

Department of Zoology



2015-Present Independent Research Fellow, University of Cambridge

I am starting exciting new research focusing on the male side of elephant ecology and conservation

2014-2015 Leverhulme Trust funded Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Sheffield

I co-supervised two excellent Master's students working on the evolution of elephant growth and reproductive strategies

2010-2014 PhD, University of Sheffield

I did my PhD on how life history of Asian elephants is influenced by environmental factors- including climate and stress. I continue to collaborate with the Myanmar Timber Elephant Project.

2008-2009 MPhil, University of Cambridge

2004-2007 MA in Biological Anthropology, University of Cambridge


Elephants are charismatic megafauna, with a unique cultural significance to humans. They're also my study system. I'm interested in how elephants relate to their social, physical and human environment.

My current research focuses on male African elephants. Males are possibly less well-understood that females, but understanding them better could be key to conservation of the species because males are more likely to be involved in human-elephant conflict. I investigate patterns of male sociality, relatedness, vocalisations and physical characteristics with the aim of informing both our knowledge of ecology and conservation strategies. Please see my website for more details.


Key publications: 

Crawley J.A.H., Mumby H.S., Chapman S.N., Lahdenperä M., Mar K.U., Htut W., Thura Soe A., Aung H.H. and Lummaa V.Is bigger better? The relationship between size and reproduction in female Asian elephants. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 2017. doi:10.1111/jeb.13143

Chapman S.N., Mumby H.S., Crawley J.A.H., Mar K.U., Htut W., Thura Soe A., Aung H.H. and Lummaa V. How big is it really? Assessing the efficacy of indirect estimates of body size in Asian elephants. PLOS One, 2016. Open access

Mumby H.S., Chapman S.N., Crawley J.A.H., Mar K.U., Htut W., Thura Soe A., Aung H.H. and Lummaa V. Distinguishing between determinate and indeterminate growth in a long-lived mammal. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 2015 15:214. Open access.

Mumby, H.S.,  Mar, K.U., Hayward, A.D., Htut, W., Htut-Aung, Y. and Lummaa, V. Elephants born in the high stress season have faster reproductive ageing. Scientific Reports, 2015 5:13946. Open access.

Mumby, H.S.,  Mar, K.U., Thitaram, C., Courtiol, A., Towiboon, P., Min-Oo, Z., Htut-Aung, Y., Brown, J.L. and Lummaa, V. Stress and body conditions are associated with demography of Asian elephants. Conservation Physiology, 2015  3(1): cov030. Open access.

Mumby, H.S.,  Courtiol, A., Mar, K.U. and Lummaa, V. Birth seasonality and calf mortality in a large population of Asian elephants. Ecology and Evolution, 2013 3(11):3794-3803. Open access.

Mumby, H.S., Courtiol, A., Mar, K.U. and Lummaa, V. Climatic variation and age-specific survival in Asian elephants from Myanmar. Ecology, 2013. 94(5) 1131-1141

Vinicius, L. and Mumby, H.S. Comparative analysis of animal growth: A primate continuum revealed by a new dimensionless growth rate coefficient. Evolution, 2013. 67(5) 1485-1492.

Other publications: 

Mumby, H.S., Elks C.E., Li S., Sharp S.J., Khaw K-T. , Luben R.N., Wareham N.J. , Loos R.J.F. and Ong K.K. Mendelian Randomisation Study of Childhood BMI and Early Menarche. Journal of Obesity, 2011. Article ID 180729.

Mumby, H. and L. Vinicius, Primate Growth in the Slow Lane: A Study of Inter-Species Variation in the Growth Constant A. 
Evolutionary Biology, 2008. 35(4): p. 287-295.

Drapers' Company Junior Research Fellow, Pembroke College

Contact Details

Room 3.01 David Attenborough Building
01223 (3)31698