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Vanessa Woods

Vanessa Woods is a feature writer for the Discovery Channel. She has written three children's books for Allen & Unwin and one adult book. She has written for a large number of publications including New Scientist, BBC Wildlife and Australian Geographic. In 2003, Vanessa won the Australasian Science award for journalism. She also studies the psychology of bonobos and chimpanzees in Africa.

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Vanessa published her first article about Baluku, a chimp who used to pee on her bed. Since then, Vanessa has become an internationally published author and journalist and is the main Australian/ New Zealand feature writer for the Discovery Channel. She graduated with a Masters of Science Communication from the Centre for the Public Awareness of Science at the Australian National University and has written for various publications including BBC Wildlife, New Scientist, and Travel Africa. In 2003, Vanessa won the Australasian Science award for journalism. In 2007, her children’s book on space was named an Acclaimed Book by the UK Royal Society and shortlisted for the Royal Society’s Junior Science Book Prize.

For Vanessa, science and writing are closely linked. After a year studying the behavioral ecology of monkeys in Central America, it occurred to her that very few people outside the scientific community knew what it was like to chase monkeys for 14 hours a day, live in a compression chamber with eight other people for a year, or watch as you and the people around you morph into monkeys. It’s every monkey for themselves is a true story about what life is really like in the jungle.

Vanessa is also the author of two children’s books published by Allen&Unwin; It’s True, There Are Bugs in Your Bed (2004), and It’s True, Space Turns You Into Spaghetti (2005). She is currently working on her third book in the series; It’s True, Pirates ate rats. Her books have been distributed in Australia and Canada and have recently been translated into Korean. It’s every monkey for themselves is her first travel memoir.

Vanessa is currently conducting research in the two Congos in Central Africa; chimpanzees in the People’s Republic of Congo and bonobos in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She spends her time waving red porcupines at baby bonobos and trying to outsmart chimpanzees.

In the past, Vanessa has made documentaries for Disney USA and Totally Wild and her filming trips have taken her to Cape Town, Uganda, Kenya, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Zanzibar, and Antarctica.

Books by this Author

It's True! Pirates ate rats (27)

It's True! Pirates ate rats (27)

Published: September 2007

A prey to scurvy, boredom and danger one day, they might strike a ship full of gold dust and emeralds the next. Full of little-known facts and astonishing stories about pirates ancient and modern, male and female, polite and barbaric, this latest addition to the acclaimed It's True! series will keep you on the edge of your seat.

It's True! Space turns you into spaghetti (16)

It's True! Space turns you into spaghetti (16)

Published: January 2006

Watch out for exploding stars, boiling planets and robotic explorers. Beware of black holes, white dwarfs and red giants. Space is full of extraordinary things - and two-thirds of the Universe is invisible! Packed with mind-blowing facts about space, this is the sixteenth book in the fantastic non-fiction series, It's True!

It's Every Monkey For Themselves

It's Every Monkey For Themselves

Published: March 2007

Big Brother meets Gorillas in the Mist in this story of a young woman grappling with the usual big issues - love, sex, friendship, and figuring out what she wants from life - while at the same time attempting to conduct research on capuchin monkeys, shoot a documentary and not get herself killed in the jungles of Costa Rica.