Karline R. L. Janmaat

Endowed Professor in Cognitive Behavioural Ecology

Leiden University

Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Cognitive Psychology, Pieter de la Court, Wassenaarseweg 52,
2333 AK Leiden, The Netherlands



 Plantage Kerklaan 38-40, 1018 CZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands

University of Amsterdam

Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, Faculty of Science, University of Amsterdam
Postbus 94248
1090 GE Amsterdam/The Netherlands


Director, Mbendjele Foraging Project, RC


Research Gate

Research Interests

I am a cognitive behavioural ecologist and my main research goal is to understand the evolutionary function and diversity of cognition among individual animals and primates in particular. I am specialized in studying the cognitive strategies that wild primates use in their daily search for food, by using a combination of detailed observations of the characteristics of different socio-ecological contexts (e.g., in the zoo vs. the wild), longitudinal observations of the behaviours of individual monkeys, apes, and humans in a variety of populations, VR technology and state of the art modelling techniques. My personal challenge is to reveal the extent of cognitive complex skills of animals, such as episodic-like memory and flexible route planning and to map the context in which animals employ them. By contributing such data to a comparative framework, and working in collaboration with field- and lab-based researchers, I aim to increase our understanding of the evolutionary function of foraging cognition and its variation and plasticity. By implementing knowledge on the daily challenges faced by populations in the natural habitat, I furthermore have recently started to assess and when possible improve the mental well-being of captive animals.

@ pictures made by Alain Houle, Karline Janmaat, Haneul Jang and Martyn Colbeck