24.08.2019 - 06:54
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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


2007PhD, ”Fruits of enlightenment. Fruit localization strategies in wild mangabey monkeys”, School of Psychology, University of St Andrews, Scotland, U.K. 
2001MSc Ecology (including BSc degree), “Travel leadership in wild Thomas langurs (Presbytis thomasi). Who wins the conflict?”, Faculty of Science, University of Amsterdam


2016-currentGroup leader of the Foraging Cognition Group, at the Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVAN; 3 days per week since 2016).
2016-currentLecturer & Researcher in Evolutionary Psychobiology at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam (2 days per week). Developed a Minor in Evolutionary Psychobiology - unique in the world - and coordinate and teach courses in Evolutionary Psychobiology (12EC), Ethology (6EC) and Evolutionary Anthropology (6EC).
2008-2015Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. (Extended yearly, based on performance). 
2006-2008 Demonstrating work and development of course practicums for Biology and Psychobiology students at the Faculty of Science, University of Amsterdam


Established Research facilities
2015-currentMbendjele Foraging Project - I set up a facility to investigate the behaviour and foraging skills of human foragers, as well as the chemical content of their food sources. Students work in close collaboration with students from the University of Marien Ngouabi in the Republic of Congo (2° 28 N, 17° 26 E; not Democratic Republic of Congo)
2016-currentARTIS zoo - I set up facilities to measure the cognitive performances of captive animals, such as the chimpanzees. Students work in close collaboration with ARTIS employees in mental enrichment studies.
2001-currentThree Primate Research sites – I set up prolonged close collaboration with fieldwork sites where students can measure cognitive performances of wild habituated animals, such as chimpanzees and mangabey monkeys. Two sites have access to >20 years of demographic, genetic, ecological and behavioural data (Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire and Kibale National Park, Uganda). The third site, Gishwati Forest Reserve, Rwanda contains an isolated primate community that is ideal for experimental studies.
Summary of Publication record (Google scholar April 2019)

I have published 15 papers (1 PNAS, 1 Current Biology) in international peer-reviewed journals and 4 book chapters (12 first author, 4 last author, 3 students first author; see separate Publication List), which are cited >525 times (368 since 2014). I have published in world-leading, high-impact journals, such as PNAS, in addition to the top journals in the field of Animal Behaviour.  My H-index is 11 and mean impact factor (IF) is 4.2. This puts me in the top 10% of peers in my research field. (In field primatology publication rate is lower than in other fields due to the time investment of fieldwork in tropical countries). The titles of my best five papers are:

  1. Janmaat, KRL, Byrne, RW and Zuberbühler, K (2006). Primates take weather into account when searching for fruit. Current Biology 16, 1232-1237 (impact factor 10.881)
  2. Janmaat, KRL, Polansky, L, Ban, SD, Boesch, C (2014) Wild chimpanzees plan their breakfast time, type and location. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(46), 16343-16348 (impact: 9.809).
  3. Janmaat, KRL (in press). What animals don’t do or fail to find: A novel observational approach for studying cognition in the wild. Journal of Evolutionary Anthropology (impact: 4.53).
  4. Janmaat, KRL, Ban, S and Boesch, C (2013). Chimpanzees use long-term spatial memory to monitor large fruit trees and remember feeding experiences across seasons. Animal Behaviour, 86(6), 1183-1205 (impact: 3.591)
  5. Janmaat, KRL, Boesch, C, Chapman, CA, Head, JS, Robbins, MM, Wrangham, RW and Polansky, L. (2016) Spatio-temporal complexity of chimpanzee food: How cognitive adaptations can counteract the ephemeral nature of ripe fruit. American Journal of Primatology, 78(6), 626-645 (impact: 2.44).


I organised 3 international symposia, was invited to 17 and spoke at 24. Invitations over the past 5 years: 

2019Invited speaker at Gordon Research Conference: Herbivore plant interactions in Ventura, US.
2017Keynote speaker to open the Congress of the "German Gesellschaft fur Primatologie", Zürich, Switzerland.
2016    Invited speaker 26th Congress of the International Primatological Society (IPS) in Chicago, US.
2015Keynote speaker at “Movement Ecology” seminar at the Centre d’Ecologie, Fonctionnelle & Evolutive, University of Montpellier, France.
2015 Invited speaker at the Conference Evolutionary Psychology & Primatology in the Low Countries, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


DATA: In my field, observational data is an inexhaustible acquired source for publication and an expensive commodity as observations are gathered through long periods of fieldwork in remote rainforests:
1) 628 full days of observation (204,614 cleaned GPS locations and 110,161 behavioural observations) of foraging behaviour of wild chimpanzees and human foraging women and children, 2) GPS locations and properties of more than 20,000 food trees, 3) 11 years of food availability data on 3,422 food trees, 4) 320 hours of video materials of primate behaviour, 5) chemical data (e.g. sucrose or phytoestrogen) on 78 human and 64 chimpanzee food species.
GRANTS AND STIPENDS: As supervisor:  Franklin Mosher Baldwin Memorial Fellowship for Simone Ban (PhD student; $11,500 & $11,979) and Vidrige Kandza (MSc student; $14,993 & $7,244), Stiching Kronendak for Bryndan van Pinxteren (MSc student; 1000 euro) and Tamara Vallina (BSc student; 1000 euro), Leakey Fellowship for Stefano Lucchesi (PhD student; $14,986), Micro-project grant from German Embassy for Bill Loubelo (post-doc; Euro15,720)
Postdoc studies: Leakey foundation (2 yrs; $24,926), Templeton Charity Foundation (3yrs; $30,326), Stipendium (5yrs; 144,000 euro) and research costs from Max Planck Society (10yrs: 200,000 euro).
Ph.D. studies: Acquired my own funding; a total of aprox. 100,000 euro, via Student fellowship from the University of St Andrews, Travel and Research Grants from the Dobberke foundation for comparative physiology, Lucie Burger foundation, Stichting Kronendak, the Catharine van Tussenbroek foundation, Schure-Beijerinck-Popping foundation, Leakey Foundation, Wenner Gren Foundation and Primate Conservation Inc. 
M.Sc. studies: Stipendium 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.


  • Invited speaker at 17 international symposia, including keynote speaker to open the conference of the "Gesellschaft für Primatologie" in Zürich (15-2-2017) and the Gordon Research Conference, Ventura (USA).
  • Invited to write a review paper on the topic of Foraging Cognition in the Journal of Evolutionary Anthropology and to publish in a special issue of the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology and Animal Cognition.
  • Newly developed field methodology was adopted by Dr. E Cunningham at New York University College and Prof. Dr. CH Janson at University of Montana and Prof. Dr. PA Tujague at Universidad Nacional de Misiones in their grant applications and publications.
  • Scientific Assistant of Disney for the Movie “Chimpanzee”.
  • Scientific Advisor of the “Groote museum” in ARTIS.
  • First prize of Poster presentation at the Scottish Conference for Animal Behaviour, U.K.

PhD students (see theses’ titles in publication list):

2 PhD students as principal supervisor - (one completed (Simone Ban 2-12-2017), one ongoing (Haneul Jang))
3 PhD student as co-supervisor - (one completed (Bill Loubelo 25-7-2018), two ongoing (Miguel Guinea Luengo and Stefano Luicchesi))


2018BKO (UvA); Completed workshops and observation lecture, planned submission April 2019.
2000First degree in teachers’ training (lectured at two High Schools (A-level)).
Student lecturing:
2016-currentDeveloped, coordinate and teach courses in Evolutionary Psychobiology (12EC), Ethology (6EC) and Evolutionary Anthropology (6EC) to Psychobiology students. Average grade for evaluations: 8
2016-2017Developed a Minor in Evolutionary Psychobiology - unique in the world.
2014-2015IMPRS course lecturer for Ph.D. students at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
2008-2018Invited for course lecturing at Leipzig University (Germany), Utrecht University, University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland), Makerere University (Uganda) and UvA (High-light lectures)
Supervision Students summary:

M.Sc. students: 8 (6 completed); B.Sc. students:  15 (11 completed)
Including students from Leipzig University, Germany, Oxford Brookes University, UK, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, University Marien Ngouabi, Republic of Congo, University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, Félix Houphouët Boigny University, Côte d’Ivoire and University of Cocody, Côte d’Ivoire.

Public lecturing:
2006-2008Lecturing on primate field research for a foundation for elderly education (Stichting Wijzer).
2004-2006Voluntary teaching (3 subsequent years) about animal and human behaviour to 12-13 year old pupils at the IMC Weekend School, a project that introduces children to different professions.
2015-presentOrganised 5 public “College series” for the ARTIS Academy, in which lay people and Psychobiology students are following lectures together.


  • Organised symposia at the International Convention of Psychological Science in Paris, (2019),  and the 25th Congress of the International Primatological Society in Hanoi, Vietnam (2014), and the Institut National de Recherche en Science Exactes et Naturelles, Brazzaville (2018).
  • Managed the Taï Monkey Project and the Taï Chimpanzee Project in Côte d’Ivoire: more than 30 Ivorian employees, 9 students and 1 PhD student (23 months in total).
  • Set up and managing of the Mbendjele Foraging Project (3yrs) in the Republic of Congo, including the activities of 3 PhD students, 3 MSc students and two volunteers (3yrs).

Scientific administrative duties:

2015-currentEstablished 3 Memorandum of Agreements between 1) UvA and ARTIS to enable UvA students and ARTIS employees to conduct research projects together, whereby ARTIS contributes financially, 2) UvA, ARTIS and Leiden University to start a mental welfare touch screen study on ARTIS chimpanzees, in which UvA students have priority to conduct research projects, and 3) Institut National de Recherche en Science Exactes et Naturelles (IRSEN), MPI-EVAN, Indiana University and Hunter College for export and analyses of the chemical content of Mbendjele plant food.

Current collaborations: in fields of Psychology, Biology, Computer Science, Economics, Chemistry, Anthropology and Music Cognition at the UvA, University of Michigan-Dearborn, St Andrews University, Georgia State University, Buena Vista University, Leiden University, Harvard University, Kyoto University, Vienna University, Northern Illinois University, Indiana University, Dartmouth University, MPI-EVAN, IRSEN, University Marien Ngouabi, University of Glasgow, University of Utah and German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv).


  • Invited as primatologist in two popular TV-talk-shows (life) on Dutch National television (Pauw & Witteman en RTL Late Night) and Dutch National radio shows (life):  Vroege Vogels, Wetenschap 24, Labyrinth, Kennis van Nu, Radio Swammerdam) and the Dublin radio.
  • Presentation on the activities of the Tai Monkey Project and Mbendjele Foraging Project broadcasted on Ivorian and Congolese National eight o’clock news.
  • Peer-reviewed papers were discussed in (amongst others): Nature, the New Scientist, the Scientific American, National Geographic, The Times, De Volkskrant, NRC handelsblad and UvA homepage.
  • Invited to write a book about my research by Publisher “Prometheus”.
  • Presentation at a “Is Music unique?” seminar “UvA Open dag” at the University of Amsterdam (2018)
  • Established an agreement with the director of the “Groote Museum” that future research results will be exhibited.