Frans de Waal biography

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Frans de Waal
Photo: Catherine Marin

Frans de Waal

Frans de Waal Biography

Dr. Frans B. M. de Waal is a Dutch/American biologist and primatologist known for his work on the behavior and social intelligence of primates. His first book, Chimpanzee Politics (1982) compared the schmoozing and scheming of chimpanzees involved in power struggles with that of human politicians. Ever since, de Waal has drawn parallels between primate and human behavior, from peacemaking and morality to culture. His scientific work has been published in hundreds of technical articles in journals such as Science, Nature, Scientific American, and outlets specialized in animal behavior. His popular books — translated into twenty languages — have made him one of the world's most visible primatologists. His latest books include The Age of Empathy (2009), The Bonobo and the Atheist (2013), and Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist (2022). Two recent edited volumes are The Primate Mind (2012) and Evolved Morality (2014).

De Waal is C. H. Candler Professor in the Psychology Department of Emory University and Director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, in Atlanta, Georgia. Since 2013, he is a Distinguished Professor (Universiteitshoogleraar) at Utrecht University. He has been elected to the (US) National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. In 2007, he was selected by Time as one of The Worlds' 100 Most Influential People Today, and in 2011 by Discover as among 47 (all time) Great Minds of Science. Being editor-in-chief of the journal Behaviour, de Waal has stepped in the footsteps of Niko Tinbergen, one of the founders of ethology.

His latest research concerns empathy and cooperation, inequity aversion and social cognition in chimpanzees, bonobos, and other species. He and his students have pioneered studies on how behavior is culturally transmitted in the primates, whether elephants recognize themselves in mirrors, how primates react to unequal reward divisions, how well primates spontaneously cooperate, and whether bonobo orphans are as emotionally affected by their trauma as human orphans.



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Books by this Author

Books by Frans de Waal at BookBrowse
Different jacket Mama's Last Hug jacket Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? jacket
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All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Frans de Waal but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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  • Lucy Cooke

    Lucy Cooke

    Lucy Cooke is the author of The Truth About Animals, which was short-listed for the Royal Society Prize, and the New York Times bestselling A Little Book of Sloth. She is a National Geographic explorer, TED talker, and award-... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Mama's Last Hug

    Try:
    Bitch
    by Lucy Cooke

  • Karen Joy Fowler

    Karen Joy Fowler

    Karen Joy Fowler is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels and three short story collections. Her 2004 novel, The Jane Austen Book Club, spent thirteen weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list and was a New ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Mama's Last Hug

    Try:
    We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
    by Karen Joy Fowler

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