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Department of Primatology

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

phone: +49 (341) 3550 - 200
fax: +49 (341) 3550 - 299

Curriculum Vitae


1987-1993Secondary education:
Diploma “Voortgezet Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs” at the Montessori Lyceum Amsterdam
1993-2007Academic education:
1993-2001Master study Biology at the faculty of Science, University of Amsterdam
1993-1994Propaedeutics Biology
1994-1997Extra courses (in addition to the Biology Program)
Faculty of political and social-cultural sciences, at the University of Amsterdam:
Social climate of Cities (City sociology)

Faculty of Biology at Utrecht University: Ethology

Faculty of Biology at Groningen University: Animal Ecology (including fieldwork on Eurasian oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus).
1997-1998Research project: Telemetry study on the red fox (Vulpes vulpes)
1998-2000Research project Ethological field study on travel leadership in wild Thomas langurs (Presbytis thomasi). Supervised by S. Wich, E.H.M. Sterck and A de Roos.
2001Literature Thesis:Title: The Evolution of Planning Behaviour: A way to optimise food-search efficiency? University of Amsterdam.
2001-2006Ph.D. studies Psychology at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, U.K.
(One-year discount was granted due to the outbreak of a civil war at the first fieldwork site).
Subject: Fruit localisation strategies in wild mangabey monkeys
2001-20028 months field research on the behaviour of sooty mangabeys in the Tai National Park, Ivory Coast.
8 months local project manager of the Taï Monkey Project 2 months research in Zoo of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, while waiting for the political situation to stabilize.
2003-200417 months field research on the behaviour of grey-cheeked mangabeys in the Kibale National Park, Uganda. One month research in Zoo of Entebbe, Uganda.
Sept 2006Passed Viva / defence of PhD thesis with minor corrections.
Examination was conducted by Prof. C. H. Janson & Dr. G. Brown
2008-2013Completed five courses on statistical modelling (e.g. Generalized Linear Mixed Modelling) and basic programming skills to manage GPS and Excel data using R by Dr. R Mundry at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.


2000First degree in teachers training (including teaching at two High Schools (A-level))
2002Supervision of Ivorian DEA (M.Sc.) student at the University of Cocody, Ivory Coast. Project title: “Are sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus atys) able to keep track of time? A provisioning experiment in the Zoo of Abidjan”.
March 2005Participation of a primate exhibit at Edinburgh Zoo, involving the public in the scientific activities of the University of St Andrews at National Science week.
May 2005Developing and teaching of a course on Scientific Presentations Skills to M.Sc. students at the Forestry department of the Makerere University, Uganda.
2004-2006Voluntary teaching (3 subsequent years) about animal and human behaviour to 12-13 year old pupils at the “Weekend School”, a project that supports children education.
Sep-Jul 06Teaching basic statistics to first years Biology students, University of Amsterdam
Feb-Jun 06Demonstrating work for courses in Anatomy, Histology, Neuro-physiology and Ecology (incl. assisting with experiments on foraging behaviour in black ants (Lasius niger)).
Sep07-Mar08Developing and teaching of a new Bachelor’s course “Evolution & Behaviour” for 100 Psycho-biology students at the University of Amsterdam (designing experiments, writing manual etc.).
May-Jul08Supervising literature theses of 20 Pycho-biology students (on the origin of intelligent behaviour) and demonstrating work for an Eco-physiology course.
2006-2008Giving five popular lectures on primate field research for the Dutch Foundation Wijzer.
2008-currentPostdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Study subject: Foraging Cognition in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in the Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire and Mbendjele people in the rainforest in the northern Congo basin. Extended yearly, based on performance.
2008-currentOngoing supervision of PhD student Simone Ban, Félix Houphouët Boigny University, Côte d’Ivoire.
2010-currentInvited lecturer at students courses at the University of Neuchâtel, University of Utrecht, University of Amsterdam and the University of Leipzig
2011-2013Practical and theoretical training of data collection methodologies to international volunteers of the Pan African Project at the Max Planck Institute
2014-currentOngoing supervision of PhD student Haneul Jang, Leipzig University, Germany
2016-currentOngoing supervision of MSc students Bryndan van Pinxteren, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Vidrige Kandza, University of Marien Ngouabi, Congo


7-1-2001Oral and Poster presentations: 18th Congress of the International Primatological Society (IPS) in Adelaide, Australia.
12-3-2002Oral presentation about the studies conducted by researchers of the Taï Monkey Project, local meeting with Park managers, gamekeepers and other researchers, Ivory Coast.
23-4-2002Oral presentation on activities Taï Monkey Project, at a welcoming ceremony for Prime Minister of Cote d’Ivoire. Broadcasted on Ivorian television and radio.
2003-2004Oral presentations about my research at three different symposia from the Ugandan Wildlife Authority, in Kibale National Park and Queen Elisabeth National Park, Uganda.
24-8-2004 Invited speaker at Oral presentation:20th Congress of the IPS in Turin, Italy.
12-3-2005Oral presentation and Poster presentation (winning first prize):Scottish Conference for Animal Behaviour, Glasgow.
2002-2005Oral presentations at three seminars of the School of Psychology and a seminar of the Behavioral Discussion Group (±25 scientific members) of the University of St Andrews.
27-8-2005Oral presentation: 25th International Ethological Conference, Budapest, Hungary.
27-6-2006Oral and poster presentations: 21th Congress of the IPS  in Entebbe, Uganda.
26-8-2006Invited speaker at the Symbolic Species Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
6-8-2008Oral and poster presentations: 22nd Congress of the IPS in Edinburgh, United Kingdom
17-9-2010Oral presentation: Invited speaker at 23th Congress of the IPS in Kyoto, Japan
10-8-2012 Invited speaker at 24th Congress of the IPS and the GIS workshop in Cancun, Mexico
2013Invited lecturer at a course on Animal Cognition to students of the Interuniversity Doctoral Program in Organismal Biology. University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
2013-2014Invited lecturer at a Bridge seminar of the University of Leipzig
2013Invited lecturer at a course on Animal Cognition to third year’s Psychobiology bachelor students at the University of Amsterdam
2014IMPRS course lecturer for PhD students at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
16-8-2014Oral presentation at 26th Congress of the IPS in a symposium on Mental Time Travel that I co-organized with Gemma Martin-Ordas, in Hanoi, Vietnam
17-4-2015 Invited keynote speaker at the Conference Evolutionary Psychology & Primatology in the Low Countries.
25-9-2015Invited speaker at a “movement ecology” seminar at the Centre d’Ecologie, Fonctionnelle & Evolutive, University of Montpellier.


Master study: Research Stipend from Waterworks Company (PWN). Travel and research grants from the European Science Foundation, Dobberke foundation for comparative physiology, Stichting Kronendak and Fonds Dr. Christine Buisman.

Ph.D. study: Studentship from the School of Psychology, University of St Andrews. Travel and Research Grants from the Dobberke foundation for comparative physiology, Luci Burger foundation, Stichting Kronendak, the Catharine van Tussenbroek foundation, Schure-Beijerinck-Popping foundation, Leakey Foundation, Wenner Gren Foundation and Primate Conservation Inc.

As supervisor:  Franklin Mosher Baldwin Memorial Fellowship (2 yrs) for Simone Ban (PhD student).

Postdoctoral studies: Leakey’s General Research Grant (for 2 yrs)


Fluent in Dutch and English. proficient in German and French, basic in Luganda, Bahasa Indonesia and Mbendjele,


  • Managed the Taï Monkey Project: 6 Ivorian employees and 2-5 students (8 months).
  • Employed 4 volunteers and 5 Ugandan field assistants for my Ph.D. project (17 months).
  • Managed the Taï Chimpanzee Project, including activities of 25 Ivorian employees and 4 students (4 months). Managed a research team of 6 research assistants and one Ph.D. student (15 months).
  • Set up and managed the Mbendjele Foragers Project, including the activities of 2 PhD students and one volunteer.
  • Organised a symposium at the 25th Congress of the IPS in Hanoi, Vietnam titled: “Mental Time Travel in monkeys, apes and humans. Is it all the same”.
  • Collaboration and datasharing with Dr R Chancellor, University of California, Dr W Olupot, Makerere University, Prof. Dr. PA Waser, Purdue University, Prof. Dr. CA Chapman, McGill University, Prof. Dr. RW Wrangham, Harvard University, Dr. J Head, Dr. M Robbins, Max Planck Institute, Dr. L. Polansky, University of California Davis and Dr. L. Porter, Northern Illinois University.