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Dist Prof Marston Donald Edward Conder

MSocSc (Waikato), DPhil (Oxford), DSc (Oxford), FAMS, FNZMS, FRSNZ, FTICA

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  • Born and raised in the Waikato region, studied at Hinuera Primary, Matamata College and the University of Waikato
  • DPhil at the University of Oxford (1980) on minimal generating pairs for permutation groups, under the supervision of Prof. Graham Higman FRS
  • Postdoctoral fellowships at University of Otago (1981) and Universität Tübingen (1982)
  • Academic positions at University of Auckland since 1983, promoted to full Professor in 1993, Distinguished Professor in 2012

Research | Current

  • Combinatorial group theory
  • Symmetries of graphs, maps, polytopes, surfaces and other discrete objects
  • Discrete computation

Teaching | Current

  • Courses in algebra and combinatorics at all levels
  • Occasional teaching in other courses
  • Supervision of students at Honours. Masters and PhD level

Postgraduate supervision

Projects on offer

  • Finitely-presented groups
  • Actions of groups on graphs
  • Actions of groups on surfaces
  • Actions of groups on embeddings of graphs on surfaces
  • Regular and/or chiral polytopes


  • Senior Mathematical Prize and Johnson Prize, University of Oxford, 1980
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship, 1986-87 & 2010
  • NZ Mathematical Society Research Award, 1993
  • President of NZ Mathematical Society, 1993-95
  • Marsden Fund awards 1995, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016           
  • Fellowship of the NZ Mathematical Society, 1997
  • Fellowship of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 1998
  • Degree of Doctor of Science, University of Oxford, 2000
  • Chair of NZ Government Committee to establish the PBRF, 2002
  • Honorary Life Membership of the NZ Mathematical Society, 2004
  • Fellowship of the Institute of Combinatorics & Applications, 2004
  • Hood Fellowship (inaugural award), 2005
  • President of the Academy of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 2006-08
  • Moderator (one of three) for PBRF Quality Assessment, 2012 & 2018
  • James Cook Fellowship, 2012-14
  • Maclaurin Lectureship (American & NZ Mathematical Societies), 2012/13
  • Fellowship of American Mathematical Society, 2012
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Waikato, 2013
  • Hector Medal, Royal Society of New Zealand, 2014
  • Jones Medal, Royal Society of New Zealand, 2018
  • Research Excellence Medal (for work in last 5 years), University of Auckland, 2019                                               


  • Chair of Budget Committee, University of Auckland, since 2000
  • Convenor of Algebra & Combinatorics group, Maths Department, University of Auckland, since 2018
  • Co-Director and Treasurer of NZ Mathematics Research Institute, since 1995

Areas of expertise

* Group theory and its applications, especially to the study of symmetry

* Regular and chiral maps on surfaces

* Arc-transitive graphs

* Regular and chiral polytopes

* Group actions on Riemann and Klein surfaces


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)


Contact details

Office hours

Mo, Thu 11.15am-12.30pm

Primary office location

New Zealand

Web links