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Here you can find information about the society and the current board members, as well as updates about meetings, conferences and any other events relating to behavioural biology in the Netherlands and Belgium.

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NVG meeting 2024

Wednesday 27th November – Friday 29th November

Save the date! The next annual meeting of the NVG is confirmed! We will once again be at Hotel Zuiderduin in Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands. More news will follow. We hope to see you there!

NVG meeting 2023

Wednesday 22nd November – Friday 24th November

The 2023 NVG meeting will be held from Wednesday November 22nd to Friday November 24th in conference hotel ‘Zuiderduin‘ in Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands. 

The program, including a timetable for all talks, can be found here: NVG Program 2023.

Registration is now closed

The meeting starts on Wednesday evening, after the PhD workshop and will go until Friday afternoon. Highlights of this meeting are the keynote lectures, including the Brill Baerends Lecture and the Dobberke lecture for which internationally renowned behavioural biologists are invited. This year the Dobberke Lecture (Wednesday evening) will be presented by Prof. Melanie Dammhahn. On Thursday, the Brill Baerends Lecture will be presented by Prof. Eva Ringler, who will take about ‘what amphibians can teach us about the evolution of parental care‘. For more information on the meeting and the PhD workshop, please go to Meetings –> NVG meeting 2023. 


Eva Ringler (University of Bern, Switzerland)

What amphibians can teach us about the evolution of parental care

Eva Ringler completed her doctorate on the mating system of a poison frog Allobates femoralis at the University of Vienna (Austria) in 2011. Thereafter she worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Vienna and the University of California Los Angeles (US). Eva Ringler worked on a variety of topics within the field of Behavioural Biology and Ecology, including parental care, animal personalities, developmental plasticity, life-history decisions and olfaction/communication, typically using amphibians (or lizards) as a model species. In 2020, Eva became Assistant Professor and Head of the Division of Behavioural Ecology at the University of Bern (Switzerland, successor of Michael Taborsky), where she in addition and together with her research team started to work on cognition and adaptive decision making in social contexts as part of two SNSF funded projects.

Melanie Dammhahn (University of Münster, Germany)

My niche: evolution and ecology of individual behavioural difference

Melanie Dammhahn is a behavioural ecologist and since 2022 Professor for Behavioural Biology at the University of Münster. After obtaining her PhD on variation in social systems of mouse lemurs, Malagasy primates, in Göttingen (Germany), she studied behaviour and ecology of various mammals in Madagascar, Canada and Germany. Her research interests are at the interface between behaviour, ecology and evolution. Specifically, she studies patterns and determinants of among-individual (co)variation in behaviour, physiology and life-history and their consequences for ecological interactions within and between species. Some projects also aim to illuminate drivers and limits of behavioural responses to human-induced rapid environmental change at key eco-evolutionary levels of variation (individual, population, community).

Prof. Anne Peters (Monash University, Australia)

Multi-level social structure and cooperative behaviour in small songbird

Dr. Edwin van Leeuwen (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)

The scope of culture in non-human animals: a primatological approach

Dr. Marion Nicolaus (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)

Eco-evolutionary consequences of dispersal syndromes




Phd seminar on behaviour and hormones at Utrecht University

Hormonal regulation of animal relationships

New course on animal tracking at the University of Wageningen:

Fundaments of animal monitoring systems: animal tracking and data analysis

In the age of information, we have access to an unprecedented level of details of the animal life on Earth. The possibilities of exploration and investigation of our planet seem, at times, limitless. At the same time the increasing biodiversity crisis calls for more data and more detailed investigation on the relationships between animal behaviour and movement within the environment. Understanding how animals move across landscapes, how the landscape (i.e. environment) changes over time, and the intersection between those topics will allow us to solve long-standing puzzles in ecology.

To address these fundamental questions on animal movement and environmental change, researchers have been using a plethora of technologies to gather relevant data. In this course, attendees will learn the fundaments of various animal tracking and remote sensing techniques and how to process and to analyse the resulting large datasets.

The course is open for registration: https://wias.crs.wur.nl/courses/details/1622/

UPDATE: To celebrate our 30th birthday at the 2022 NVG meeting, Prof. Frans de Waal will give the Brill-Baerends lecture:

Title: Evolution of Emotions and Empathy in the Primates

Emotions suffuse much of the language employed by students of animal behavior — from “social bonding” to “alarm calls” — yet are still regularly avoided as explicit topic in scientific discourse. Given the increasing interest of human psychology in the emotions, and the neuroscience on animal emotions such as fear and attachment, the taboo that has hampered animal research in this area is outdated. It is crucial to separate emotions from feelings, which are subjective experiences that may or may not accompany the emotions. Whereas science has no access to animal feelings, animal emotions are as observable and measurable (face, voice, physiology, neural activity) as human emotions. They are mental and bodily states that potentiate behavior appropriate to mostly social situations. I will discuss early ideas about animal emotions and draw upon research on empathy and the perception of emotions in primates to make the point that the study of animal emotions is a necessary complement to the study of behavior. Emotions are best viewed as the organizers of adaptive responses to environmental stimuli. Empathy rests on the capacity to perceive another’s emotions and induces matching emotions in the perceiver.

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. His scientific work has been published in hundreds of technical articles in journals such as ScienceNatureScientific American, and outlets specialized in animal behavior. His popular books – translated into 20+ languages – have made him one of the world’s most visible primatologists. His latest books are Mama’s Last Hug (Norton, 2019) and Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist (Norton, 2022). De Waal is C. H. Candler Professor Emeritus at Emory University and Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Utrecht University. He has been elected to the (US) National Academy of Sciences as well as the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2007, Time declared him one of The Worlds’ 100 Most Influential People Today.


NVG meeting 2022

Save the date! This year’s annual meeting of the NVG will be 23-25th November 2022. With plenary lectures from scientists at the forefront of behavioural biology, including primatologist Frans de Waal, and a fantastic programme showcasing Dutch and Belgian behavioural research.

ECBB 2022 in Groningen

The European Conference for Behavioural Biology was organised in Groningen from 21 – 24th of July. It was a great conference with fantastic plenaries, speakers and posters – with a strong showing from the Dutch and Belgian behavioural biologists! You can get a nice summary of some of the highlights on twitter @ECBB2022.

Help wanted for organising a joint meeting with the Brain Cognition Behaviour Network in 2022 

NVG is part of a new network of societies in the Netherlands, the Brain Cognition Behaviour network (BCB-NL; https://neurolab.nl/en/bcb-nl-2-2/ ). BCB-NL is an umbrella platform between the Dutch associations and networks for research into brain, cognition and behaviour. This platform aims to join forces and promote the interests of brain, cognition and behavioural research in the Netherlands and the social issues related to this field. 

The network is planning a range of activities allowing interested members of the societies to interact with each other. Currently there is a combined event being planned in the spring / early summer of 2022. The focus of the event will be on younger / early career researchers in our field. 

To organize this event, NVG has been asked if a society member wants to be part of the event organization team. The team wants to meet very soon, so if you are interested, please contact Marc Naguib (marc.naguib@wur.nl) as soon as possible. 

EFP-GfP 2022 Arnhem

We are very happy to welcome you to the joint Conference of the European Federation of Primatology and the Gesellschaft für Primatologie in the Royal Burgers’ Zoo, Arnhem, the Netherlands, home of one of the most famous chimpanzee populations in the world. Registration is now open on www.efp-gfp2022arnhem.com  

NVG 2021 was organised at Egmond aan Zee from 24-26th of November

Our annual NVG meeting will be hosted at Egmond aan Zee, starting Wednesday evening the 24th of November and finishing Friday afternoon on the 26th of November. Keynote speakers include Prof. Steve Nowicki, Dr. Miriam Knörnschild, Dr. Lysanne Snijders, Dr. Frederick Verbruggen and Dr. Emily Burdfiel-Steel. More details can be found here. 

PhD and MSc workshop Wednesday 24th of November

The PhD and MSc workshop will be organised prior to our annual meeting and will take place in Egmond aan Zee. More details can be found here.



Older news

NVG 2020 online

Our annual NVG meeting was hosted online during the afternoon of Thursday the 26th of November. We had two plenary speakers, Lars Chittka, from the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, UK & Barbara Caspers, from Bielefeld University, Department of Animal Behaviour, Bielefeld, Germany. For the full program see here.

BCB-NL organized their start event on November 4th 2020

The recently founded platform “Brain Cognition and Behaviour – The Netherlands” (BCB-NL) hosted its first event. BCB-NL is an alliance between the Dutch associations and networks for research into brain, cognition and behavior, including the NVG. BCB-NL’s vision is to foster interdisciplinary research, knowledge exchange and collaboration to support science and society.

First Dobberke lecture at NVG2019 by Jolle Jolles

Eerste Dobberke Lecture tijdens jaarlijks congres van de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Gedragsbiologie door Jolle Jolles

The role of individual heterogeneity in the collective behaviour of animal groups, door Jolle Jolles (MPIO Konstanz) gehouden op 27 november 2019, tijdens de Zoology/NVG 2019 meeting, te Groningen.

For detailed report see here. Voor een gedetailleerd rapport zie hier

Very first joint-meeting of NVG and Zoology 

Our very first joint-meeting with the KNDV (Dutch Royal Society of Zoologists) and BZS (Royal Belgian Zoological Society) was with ±170 participants well attended. The meeting kicked-off on Wednesday evening in the Academie building with the very first Dobberke lecture by Jolle Jolles.  The next morning we continued with a dedicated NVG slot, followed by the Baerendz lecture from Susanne Åkesson. A detailed report will follow in the next newsletter (here).

For more information on this special meeting see the 2019 meeting page or  https://zoology2019.com/

Nieuwe versie Handreiking ‘dierproeven’ met wilde dieren

Er is een nieuwe versie van de handreiking ‘dierproeven met wilde dieren in hun biotoop’ opgesteld. Een eerdere versie is vorig jaar gepubliceerd. Deze nieuwe versie beschrijft de kaders voor dierproeven met wilde dieren in hun biotoop, welke beslismomenten een rol spelen en hoe de wettelijke kaders ingevuld dienen te worden. En is aangeveuld met de specifieke aandachtsvelden.

Click HERE for the link to the ‘handreiking’ website from the CCD and the link to the document.

NVG 25th anniversary booklet on Behavioural Biology in The Netherlands

For our 25th anniversary Monica Wesseling wrote ‘Hoe slaap je slim maakt en apen elkaar bedriegen’.
This is a small booklet with a compilation of appealing stories of studies on Behaviour conducted in the Netherlands.
You can download this booklet as a PDF HERE (2.5MB).

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