Jelle ReumerDirector Natural History Museum Rotterdam
The Lessons of a Paleontologist
"Reumers enthusiasm is contagious, he pulls the reader into his own amazement, and his stories are full of joyful particularities", Is what the NRC Handelsblad wrote about his book De vis die aan land kroop (2013). In this book Reumer describes the creation and evolution of vertebrate animals and explains, for example, why a cow is more closely related to a dolphin than a horse.
Inherently Reumer is a biologist, specializing in the palaeontology of vertebrate animals. After a short career at the University of Geneva, and the Academica Hospital in Utrecht, he became director of the Natural History Museum in Rotterdam in 1987. Since 2005 he has had a part-time professorship in Vertebrate Paleontology at Utrecht University.
Besides sharing his amazement with the biological world through his museum, he also shares it with the public through his writing. He's a permanent columnist for the daily paper Trouw, and for the Volkskrant KennisCafe in De Balie. In addition to his book De vis die aan land kroop, Reumer wrote De ontplofte aap (2005), Opgeraapt Opgevist Uitgehakt (2008), De Mierenmens (2011) and most recently together with Martijn van Calmthout Nobel op de kaart (2014). In this last publication, Reumer and van Calmthout highlighted the 20 Dutch Nobel Prize winners, traveling through the Netherlands to meet them or the traces they left behind.