Vonk was born in Dordrecht, Netherlands. When he was a 22-year-old student, he was cited in an article of the Dutch television programme Noorderlicht. In 2006 he was a co-author of an article in Nature. He wrote his first own article in Litteratura Serpentium in 2007 and he was nominated for the Academische Jaarprijs (Academic Year Prize).
In 2008, he was granted a scholarship for top talent of €180,000 by the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (The Dutch science foundation). Vonk has appeared in several television and radio programmes, including De Wereld Draait Door, GIEL and Vroege Vogels. He made television shows for National Geographic Channel and Discovery Channel. In August 2011, the Dutch television programme Uitgesproken broadcast an entire episode about Vonk.
Since June 2011, Vonk has written a column every two weeks in Tros Kompas with the title Freeks dierenwereld (Freek's animal world). In September 2012 Vonk defended his PhD, with a thesis entitled Snake evolution and prospecting of snake venom at Leiden University.
Since 2014, Vonk has been the ambassador of Future For Nature Foundation, a foundation that supports young, talented and ambitious conservationists committed to protecting species of wild animals and plants.
- Freek Jacobus Vonk: Snake evolution and prospecting of snake venom. Leiden University, 2012. Online version
-  Giftige draken
- Leidse biologiestudent publiceert in Nature Mare, 17 November 2005
- Leidse student genomineerd voor Academische Jaarprijs RTV West, 5 June 2007
- Oerslang had giftand achterin bek
- Leiden dissertation Snake evolution and prospecting of snake venom