Vanessa Woods

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Vanessa Woods
Vanessa Woods with a bonobo at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary in DRC.
Vanessa Woods with a bonobo at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary in DRC.
Born1977 (age 41–42)
CitizenshipAustralia, United States
Alma materAustralian National University
SpouseBrian Hare

Vanessa Woods (born 1977) is an Australian science writer, author and journalist, and is the main Australian/New Zealand feature writer for the Discovery Channel.[1][2] A graduate of the Australian National University with a Master's degree in Science Communication,[3] and an author of children's books,[3] she is best known for her work in both the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo comparing the different cooperative behaviors of bonobos and common chimpanzees.[4][5] Her mother is of Chinese descent.[6] She is the author of Bonobo Handshake: A Memoir of Love and Adventure in the Congo and It's Every Monkey for Themselves: A True Story of Sex, Love, and Lies in the Jungle.


Working with colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, she spent 10 months in the Democratic Republic of Congo studying bonobos, a species of great ape as genetically close to humans as the Common Chimpanzee, in order to make comparisons between the behaviors of humankind and ape.[7][8][9][10][11]

She wrote an in-depth report on killer bees encountered during her studies in Costa Rica,[12] and has also written a piece on the yearly cherry blossom experience in Kyoto, Japan.[13]

Partial bibliography[edit]

  • It's Every Monkey for Themselves - (2007) Allen & Unwin, ISBN 978-1-74114-859-6
  • Bonobo Handshake - (2010) Penguin USA/Gotham Books, ISBN 978-1-59240-546-6

Children's books[edit]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2003, Woods won the Australasian Science Award for journalism.[3] In 2007, her children's book on space, It's True! Space turns you into spaghetti, was named an Acclaimed Book by the UK Royal Society and shortlisted for the Royal Society's Junior Science Book Prize.


  1. ^ "The Royal Society bio of Vanessa Woods". Royal Society. Archived from the original on 9 June 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  2. ^ "Vanessa Woods bio at Allen&Unwin". Allen & Unwin. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  3. ^ a b c "Vanessa Woods - Alumni of ANU College of Science". Australian National University. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  4. ^ Smith, Deborah (24 March 2007). "Sex and co-operation - it's the bonobo in you". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  5. ^ "Under the Congo's spell". Sydney Morning Herald. 13 November 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  6. ^ A. Pung, Growing Up Asian in Australia. Black Inc., 2008. ISBN 1-86395-191-1.
  7. ^ "Why are Bonobos so laid back?". Wildlife Extra. pp. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  8. ^ Rose, Kate (26 March 2007). "Ape mums bananas". Herald Sun. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  9. ^ Viegas, Jennifer (9 February 2007). "Chimps really are cheeky monkeys". ABC News. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  10. ^ Tenenbaum, David (5 July 2007). "Chimpanzees". The Why Files. Archived from the original on 22 October 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  11. ^ Viegas, Jennifer (24 January 2007). "Chimps Know How to Deceive People". Discovery Channel. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  12. ^ "Attack of the killer bees". WA Today. 13 November 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  13. ^ "Watch and Weep". Brisbane Times. 8 March 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2009.

External links[edit]