Andrew Kitchener is Principal Curator of Vertebrates in the Department of Natural Sciences where he specialises in research on mammals, especially carnivorans.

Dr Kitchener studied zoology at Reading University and his PhD, also at Reading, was on the functional design of bovid horns.

Before joining National Museums Scotland in 1988 as Principal Curator of Mammals and Birds, he was a researcher and field assistant at the BBC Natural History Unit, working on the series Supersense. In 2010 his remit broadened to include all vertebrates. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow in the Institute of Geography, University of Edinburgh and an Honorary Lecturer in the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and a member of its Animal Welfare and Ethics Group, Chair of Trustees of the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, and a member of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group and the IUCN Equid Specialist Group. In 2020 Dr Kitchener was appointed to the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission to advise Scottish government on animal welfare issues.

Dr Kitchener’s research interests are very broad and feature the following key areas:

  • Hybridisation in mammals and birds, including the Scottish wildcat, which is threatened by hybridisation with domestic cats. Dr Kitchener is chair of the Scottish Wildcat Conservation Action Plan Steering Group.
  • Geographical variation in mammals, particularly cats, including recent research that identified the first new big cat species, the Sunda clouded leopard, to be recognised in more than 180 years. Current research is focussed on sand cats and marbled cats.
  • Effects of captivity on captive vertebrates, including the effects of ageing and the development of diseases of bones and teeth.
  • Scottish zooarchaeology, including the occurrence and extinction of large mammals, such as brown bears and beavers.
  • Functional morphology, including the jaw mechanics of red squirrels and the function of the baculum.

Ten selected publications

  1. McGrosky, A., Meloro, C., Navarrete, A., Heldstab, S.A., Kitchener, A.C., Isler, K., Clauss, M. 2019. Gross intestinal morphometry and allometry in primates. American Journal of Primatology 81 (8): 
  2. Law, G. & Kitchener, A.C. 2019. Twenty years of the tiger feeding pole: review and recommendations. International Zoo Yearbook 54: 1–17
  3. Harvey, V.L., LeFebvre M.J., deFrance S.D., Toftgaard C., Drosou K., Kitchener A.C., Buckley M. 2019. Preserved collagen reveals species identity in archaeological marine turtle bones from Caribbean and Florida sites. Royal Society Open Science 6:
  4. Howard-McCombe, J., Banfield, L., Kitchener, A.C., Al Qahtani, H., Toosy, A., Al Qarqas, M., Craig, M., Abramov, A.V., Veron, G., Brito, J.C., Azizi, S., Ghazali, M., Breton, G., Sliwa, A., Kaltwaßer, K., Hochkirch, A. and Senn, H. 2019. A Mitochondrial Phylogeny of the Sand Cat (Felis margarita Loche,1858). Journal of Mammalian Evolution pp.1-10.
  5. Corr, S.A., Gardner, D.S., Langley-Hobbs, S., Ness, M.G., Kitchener, A.C. & Sinclair, K.D. 2017. Radiographic assessment of the skeletons of Dolly and other clones finds no abnormal osteoarthritis. Scientific Reports 7: DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-15902-8.
  6. Atkinson, K.E., Kitchener, A.C., Tobe, S.S. & O’Donoghue, P. 2017. An assessment of the genetic diversity of the founders of the European captive population of Asian lion (Panthera leo leo), using microsatellite markers and studbook analysis. Mammalian Biology.
  7. Kitchener, A.C., Meloro, C., and Williams, T.M. 2017. Form and function of the musteloids. In: Macdonald, D.W., Newman, C. and Harrington, L.A. (eds.) Biology and Conservation of Musteloids. Oxford University Press.
  8. Patel, R.P., Lenz, D., Kitchener, A.C., Fickel, J., Förster, D.W. and Wilting, A. 2017. Threatened but understudied: supporting conservation by understanding the genetic structure of the flat-headed cat. Conservation Genetics 18: 1423-1433. DOI 10.1007/s10592-017-0990-2.
  9. Kitchener, A.C., Breitenmoser-Würsten, Ch., Eizirik, E., Gentry, A., Werdelin, L., Wilting, A., Yamaguchi, N., Abramov, A.V., Christiansen, P., Driscoll, C., Duckworth, J.W., Johnson, W., Luo, S.-J., Meijaard, E., O’Donoghue, P., Sanderson, J., Seymour, K., Bruford, M., Groves, C., Hoffmann, M., Nowell, K., Timmons, Z. & Tobe, S. 2017 A revised taxonomy of the Felidae. The final report of the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group. Cat News Special Issue 11, 80pp.
  10. Law, G. and Kitchener, A.C. 2017. Environmental enrichment for Killer whales Orcinus orca at zoological institutions: Untried and untested. International Zoo Yearbook 51: 1-16.

For further publications see: National Museums Scotland Research Repository.

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Explore the animal kingdom with our Principal Curator of Vertebrates Dr Andrew Kitchener.
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