Vanessa Woods

Vanessa Woods - Author, Genius of Dogs, Bonobo Handshake

Vanessa 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.  Additional accolades include the Acclaimed Book award from the Royal Society and the Australasian Science award for journalism.  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.


In 2012, with husband, Brian Hare, Vanessa founded Dognition. While their book The Genius of Dogs aimed to uncover the genius of all dogs, Dognition discovers the unique genius of your dog. The Dognition experience begins with a series of science-based games that will reveal your dog's unique abilities.  To find out more and discover the genius in your dog  visit