The Institute’s research primarily focuses on the taxonomy, ecology and conservation of mammals and birds, although staff also collaborate with others studying a range of different fauna and flora.
Geographically, most of the Institute’s research takes place in the tropics and subtropics of Southeast and southern Asia, Arabia and Africa.
The Institute has an extensive zoological collection of 42,000 mammal specimens (fossil and extant). It specialises in small mammals and bats from Europe, Arabia, tropical Asia and Africa. There are also 19,000 bird specimens, which date back to the early 19th century and are mainly from the Palaearctic region (find out more).
Based on their research, Harrison Institute staff, with international colleagues and students, have published more than 350 scientific papers, reports, and action plans on the world’s biodiversity (find out more).
Institute staff have jointly described 23 mammal species new to science (bats and rodents) from Asia, Arabia and Africa (see map type of localities above). Despite a generally held belief that there are no more 'new mammals' to be discovered, seventeen of these descriptions have been since 2004 (find out more). In addition, they have described three new genera (find out more) and twelve new subspecies of mammal (find out more).
Staff have also published monographs on 'The Mammals of Arabia', 'Bats of the Indian Subcontinent' and 'Small Mammals of Nepal'.
Interest in the evolutionary history of mammals has seen Institute staff publish on the fossil faunas of the UK, Poland, and Thailand ranging from the late Pleistocene back to the early Eocene (find out more). This includes the description of two new genera and four new species of fossil mammal (find out more).