Jacobus J. Boomsma

Jacobus J. Boomsma


Curriculum vitae Jacobus J. Boomsma




MSc Biology (1976); PhD (1982): Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam


Professor, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen (1999 - present); Director Centre for Social Evolution (2005 - 2018); Associate Professor, Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Aarhus (1990 - 1999); Independent N.W.O. Research Fellow, University of Utrecht (1985-1990); Temporary Lecturer, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (1982-1985)

Visiting Fellowships

Oxford University, UK (1986-1987); Cornell University (1989); Utrecht University (1998); Universities of Würzburg and Regensburg (in total 5 months in 2002-2004); Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (in total more than a year of fieldwork since 1993); Oxford University (six months in 2016); Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftkolleg) Berlin (2018 - 2019); Carlsberg Semper Ardens (2020 - 2021)

Research Interests

Social Evolution, Major Transitions in Evolution, Cooperation and Conflict, Mating systems, Coevolution, Conservation

Awards and Honors

C.&C. Huygens Excellence Fellowship (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (1985-1990); Elected Member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters (1998); Alexander von Humboldt Research Award, 2001; Senior Research Associate of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (2007-2020); Honorary Doctorate, University of Helsinki (2010); Knighthood, Royal Danish Order of Dannebrog (2015); Newton Abraham visiting Professorship, University of Oxford (2016); Quadrennial Hamilton Award for outstanding lifetime achievement by the International Union for the Study of Social Insects (2018); Sabbatical Fellowship Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2018-2019), Elected Fellow AAAS (2019), Elected Member of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society (2023)

Editorial Board Memberships

Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (1991-2002); Journal of Evolutionary Biology (1992-1994); Insectes Sociaux (1998-2006); Journal of Insect Conservation (1998-2006); Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata (1999-2000); Proceedings of The Royal Society series B (2003-present); Myrmecological News (2004-present);  BMC Ecology and Evolution (2005-present); Insect Conservation and Diversity (2007-present); Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health (2012 - 2022)

Academic Service

Member of the Council of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (1997-2001); Vice President and Chair of the 2001 John Maynard Smith Prize Committee (1999-2001); Non-European Vice President of the Society for the Study of Evolution and member of the 2003 Dobzhansky Prize Committee (2003); President and Congress Organizer (2006-2010) of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI); Danish Representative in the Publication Board of the Nordic Society Oikos (2006 – 2016); ERC StG Panel 8 Member (2014); ERC AdG Panel 8 Chair (2016, 2018, 2020); Chair Program Committee 5th Annual Meeting International Society for Evolution, Medicine and Public Health (ISEMPH), Zürich, Switzerland, 2019; Chair International Peer Review Committee Division of Production Ecology & Resource Conservation, Wageningen University, The Netherlands, 2021; (co)-organizer of >15 symposia and workshops across > 25 years


Head of the Section for Ecology and Evolution, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen (1999-2012 and 2019-2020 - the first years under the Department of Zoology); Coordinator of two EU-Research-training Networks (1996-2001 and 2001-2004); Host of more than 20 Individual EU Marie Curie Fellows; Director Centre for Social Evolution and Symbiosis (2002-2005: Danish National Science Research Council); Director Centre for Social Evolution (2005 - 2015: Danish National Research Foundation); Advanced ERC grant (2013 - 2018)


>325 listed in Google Scholar; >23900 citations; h-index 85; i10 = 284

Among these a single-authored book (OUP, 2022) and 5 publications in Nature, 7 in Science, 10 in PNAS, 8 in Current Biology, 5 in Nature Communications, 5 in Nature Ecology and Evolution and 1 in Cell (including N&V, matters arising, dispatch, Q&A, retrospective)


Hundreds of reviews for >60 international journals (including NatureSciencePNASCurrent BiologyPLoS) and many assessments for grant-giving agencies, tenure/ promotion reviews, prize nominations, etc; Member and Chair of various EU Marie Curie panels in Life Sciences and Environment since FP4; Review Panel Member Evolutionary Biology Program of the Volkswagen Foundation (2008-2012); Member of the Spinoza Prize Committee, N.W.O., The Netherlands (2011-2013); Panel member Research Assessment Exercise University of Oulu (2013); Member of the joint NWO - KNAW evaluation committee for 22 NWO-KNAW Research Institutes for fundamental science in the Netherlands (2018-2019); Member of several congress program committees; >25 external PhD/DSc evaluations in ten countries

Invited talks

>80 invited Departmental seminars at >50 Institutions; >35 keynote/plenary addresses; > 70 invited symposium talks and public dissemination lectures


Organisation of Teaching Curricula

Member of Evaluation panels of national (Netherlands 1996-7) and University (Helsinki, 2002) curricula. Member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Assembly of PhD Schools in Functional Ecology in the Netherlands (1998-2006);  Director of Science and Chairman of the Scientific Committee of ISOBIS (International Ph.D. School of Biodiversity Sciences in Denmark) (2002-2007)


Undergraduate and graduate courses in Evolution, Ecology, Evolutionary Medicine and Conservation; > 30 Postdocs; >25 PhD students; >50 MSc students


last updated January 2024


  • Dutch - mother tongue
  • English - fluent
  • Danish - fluent



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