Vanessa Woods
Biography page.

Vanessa Woods is a New York Times Bestselling author, researcher and journalist.

She is the author of the New York Times Bestseller The Genius of Dogs (Dutton 2013), and Bonobo Handshake (Gotham 2010), which won the Thomas Lowell Award for non fiction.

In 2007, Vanessa's children's book, It's True: Space Turns you into Spaghetti, won the Acclaimed Book award from the Royal Society. In 2005, Vanessa won the Australasian Science award for journalism.

Vanessa's other titles include Headstarts: 100 tips for raising clever, confident, creative kids (2011), It's Every Monkey for Themselves (2007), It's True: pirates ate rats (2007), and It's True: there are bugs in your bed (2004).

Her books have been published in 12 languages.

Vanessa has written hundreds of popular science articles and has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, National Geographic, New Scientist and BBC Wildlife.

Currently a Research Scientist at Duke University, since 2005, Vanessa has worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo studying bonobos, and the People's Republic of Congo studying chimpanzees. Vanessa is interested in comparing the cognition of bonobos and chimpanzees, and learning what bonobos can tell us about becoming a more peaceful species.

Vanessa is also the co-founder of, a website that involves the community in citizen science by evaluating and comparing the cognition of dogs.

Headshot of Vanessa Woods.