Dist Prof Marston Donald Edward Conder

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

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Distinguished Professor


  • 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, 2020          
  • 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
  • Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM), 2020
  • Euler Medal, Institute of Combinatorics & its Applications, 2021                                            


  • 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)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Conder, M., Zhou, J. X., Feng, Y. Q., & Zhang, M. M. (2020). Edge-transitive bi-Cayley graphs. Journal of Combinatorial Theory. Series B, 145, 264-306. 10.1016/j.jctb.2020.05.006
  • Conder, M. D. E., & Lo, S. (2020). The pseudo-real genus of a group. JOURNAL OF ALGEBRA, 561, 149-162. 10.1016/j.jalgebra.2019.11.032
  • Conder, M., & Siran, J. (2020). Classification of regular maps of prime characteristic revisited: Avoiding the Gorenstein-Walter theorem. JOURNAL OF ALGEBRA, 548, 120-133. 10.1016/j.jalgebra.2019.12.008
  • Conder, M., Havas, G., Newman, M. F., & Ramsay, C. (2020). On presentations for unitary groups. JOURNAL OF ALGEBRA, 545, 100-110. 10.1016/j.jalgebra.2019.02.043
  • Bujalance, E., Cirre, F. J., & Conder, M. D. E. (2019). Bounds on the orders of groups of automorphisms of a pseudo-real surface of given genus. JOURNAL OF THE LONDON MATHEMATICAL SOCIETY-SECOND SERIES, 101 (2), 877-906. 10.1112/jlms.12296
  • Du, J.-L., Conder, M., & Feng, Y.-Q. (2019). Cubic core-free symmetric m-Cayley graphs. JOURNAL OF ALGEBRAIC COMBINATORICS, 50 (2), 143-163. 10.1007/s10801-018-0847-x
  • Bujalance, E., Conder, M. D. E., Costa, A. F., & Izquierdo, M. (2019). On regular dessins d'enfants with 4g automorphisms and a curve of Wiman. In L. Beshaj, T. Shaska (Eds.) (pp. 225-233). AMER MATHEMATICAL SOC. 10.1090/conm/724/14592
  • Conder, M., & Stokes, K. (2019). New methods for finding minimum genus embeddings of graphs on orientable and non-orientable surfaces. ARS MATHEMATICA CONTEMPORANEA, 17 (1), 1-35. 10.26493/1855-3974.1800.40c


Contact details

Office hours

Mo, Thu 11.15am-12.30pm

Primary office location

Level 2, Room 215
New Zealand

Web links