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Prof. dr. K.R.L. (Karline) Janmaat

Professor in Cognitive Behavioural Ecology
Faculty of Science
Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Visiting address
  • Science Park 904
  • Room number: C3.209
Postal address
  • Postbus 94240
    1090 GE Amsterdam
  • Research


    Welcome to my website of the University of Amsterdam.

    More detailed information about my research can be found on

    my  personal website:

    illustrations Irene Goede

    Research Interests

    I am a cognitive behavioral ecologist and my main research goal is to understand the evolutionary function and diversity of cognition of individual animals and primates in particular that live in different populations. My personal challenge is to uncover the extent of the cognitive complex skills of animals, such as episodic memory and flexible route planning, and to map the context in which animals use them. I specialize in studying the cognitive strategies that wild primates use in their daily search for food and use observational methods to map the behavior and socio-ecological environment of individual monkeys, apes and humans in multiple populations. I combine these methods with Camera trap, GPS tracking, VR technology and state-of-the art modeling techniques. By implementing my findings in a comparative framework, and by collaborating with field and laboratory researchers and theoretical biologists, I want to increase our understanding of the evolutionary function of foraging cognition and its variation and plasticity. By implementing my knowledge of the daily challenges faced by animals in the natural habitat with observations in ARTIS, I also try to gain a better understanding of the mental well-being of animals in zoos and the effect of this habitat on the development of cognition.

    I have supervised and co-supervised the following PhD students

    • Simone Dagui Ban
    • Haneul Jang
    • Bill Loubelo
    • Miguel DeGuinea
    • Stefano Lucchesi

    Check my Youtube channel for interviews about my research


    Observing chimpanzees in the rainforest of Tai National Park. Picture made by Ammie Kalan
  • Teaching

    I am involved in the following courses and other teaching activities:

    Bachelor programme Psychobiology

    Supervision of BSc theses

    Coordinator and teacher in the following courses in the Minor track Evolutionary Psychobiology:

    • Evolutionairy Psychobiology
    • Evolutionary Anthropology

    Bachelor program Cognition, Language and Communication

    Teaching in Collegetour

    Bachelor and Master programme Biology and Biological Sciences

    Supervision of BSc and MSc theses

    Teaching in the course Neurobiologie en gedrag

    If you are interested in my research aims and would like to do a student research project in the field, ARTIS or with existing data on the behavour of non-human or human animals feel free to contact me and send me a CV and a motivation letter.


    illustration Irene Goede
  • Student projects

    If you are interested in my research aims and would like to do a student research project starting a study in the field, ARTIS or with existing data on the cognitive behavour of non-human or human animals feel free to contact me and send me a CV and a motivation letter.

  • Publications


    • Allritz, M., Call, J., Schweller, K., McEwen, E. S., de Guinea, M., Janmaat, K. R. L., Menzel, C. R., & Dolins, F. L. (2022). Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) navigate to find hidden fruit in a virtual environment. Science Advances, 8(25), [eabm4754].
    • Jang, H., Janmaat, K. R. L., Kandza, V., & Boyette, A. H. (2022). Girls in early childhood increase food returns of nursing women during subsistence activities of the BaYaka in the Republic of Congo. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 289(1987), [20221407].



    • Lucchesi, S., Cheng, L., Janmaat, K., Mundry, R., Pisor, A., & Surbeck, M. (2020). Beyond the group: how food, mates, and group size influence intergroup encounters in wild bonobos. Behavioral Ecology, 31(2), 519-532. [details]



    • Adamescu, G. S., Plumptre, A. J., Abernethy, K. A., Polansky, L., Bush, E. R., Chapman, C. A., Shoo, L. P., Fayolle, A., Janmaat, K. R. L., Robbins, M. M., Ndangalasi, H. J., Cordeiro, N. J., Gilby, I. C., Wittig, R. M., Breuer, T., Breuer-Ndoundou Hockemba, M., Sanz, C. M., Morgan, D. B., Pusey, A. E., ... Beale, C. M. (2018). Annual cycles are the most common reproductive strategy in African tropical tree communities. Biotropica, 50(3), 418-430. [details]
    • Van Pinxteren, B. O. C. M., Sirianni, G., Gratton, P., Després-Einspenner, M-L., Egas, M., Kühl, H., Lapuente, J., Meier, A. C., & Janmaat, K. R. L. (2018). Sooty mangabeys use auditory cues to scavenge on nuts cracked by chimpanzees and red river hogs: An investigation of inter-specific interactions around tropical nut trees. American Journal of Primatology, 80(8), [e22895]. [details]


    • Ban, S. D., Boesch, C., N'Guessan, A., Kouakou N'Goran, E., Tako, A., & Janmaat, K. R. L. (2016). Taï chimpanzees change their travel direction for rare feeding trees providing fatty fruits. Animal behaviour, 118, 135-147.


    • Ban, S. D., Boesch, C., & Janmaat, K. R. L. (2014). Taï chimpanzees anticipate revisiting high-valued fruit trees from further distances. Animal cognition, 17(6), 1353-1364.
    • Janmaat, K. R. L., Polansky, L., Ban, S. D., & Boesch, C. (2014). Wild chimpanzees plan their breakfast time, type, and location. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(46), 16343-16348.


    • Janmaat, K. R. L., Ban, S. D., & 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.
    • Janmaat, K. R. L., Ban, S. D., & Boesch, C. (2013). Taï chimpanzees use botanical skills to discover fruit: What we can learn from their mistakes. Animal cognition, 16(6), 851-860.


    • Janmaat, K. R. L., Chapman, C. A., Meijer, R., & Zuberbühler, K. (2012). The use of fruiting synchrony by foraging mangabey monkeys: A 'simple tool' to find fruit. Animal cognition, 15(1), 83-96.


    • Janmaat, K. R. L., & Chancellor, R. L. (2010). Exploring New Areas: How Important is Long-Term Spatial Memory for Mangabey (Lophocebus albigena johnstonii) Foraging Efficiency? International Journal of Primatology, 31(5), 863-886.
    • Janmaat, K. R. L., & Zuberbühler, K. (2010). Foraging cognition in nonhuman primates. In A. A. Ghazanfar, & M. Platt (Eds.), Primate neuroethology (pp. 64-83). Oxford University.


    • Janmaat, K. R. L., Olupot, W., Chancellor, R. L., Arlet, M. E., & Waser, P. M. (2009). Long-term site fidelity and individual home range shifts in lophocebus albigena. International Journal of Primatology, 30(3), 443-466.




    • Janmaat, K. R. L., Boesch, C., Byrne, R., Chapman, C. A., Goné Bi, Z. B., Head, J. S., Robbins, M. M., Wrangham, R. W., & 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.


    • Janmaat, K. R. L. (2012). Do Tai chimpanzees use botanical knowledge in their search for fruit in large scale space. Cognitive Processing International Quartely of Cognitive Sciences), 13.


    • Lucchesi, S., Surbeck, M., Janmaat, K., Cheng, L., Pisor, A. & Mundry, R. (2019). Beyond the group: how food, mates and group size influence inter-group encounters in wild bonobos. DRYAD.
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    • Leiden Universiteit
      Bijzonder Hoogleraar Cognitieve gedragsecologie