Trained in animal ecology and evolutionary biology, Tijs Goldschmidt abandoned his academic career at Leiden University in 1993 to dedicate himself fully to writing. Darwin's Dreampond: Drama in Lake Victoria, his account of a five-year stay in Tanzania in the 1980s, was was subsequently translated into numerous languages and received several awards in the Netherlands and abroad. In 2000, Goldschmidt was awarded the Jan Hanlo Essay Prize, the most prestigious Dutch prize for essay writing, for his book Oversprongen (Crossovers). He has since written a number of other books and given many lectures, including the Stephen Jay Gould Lecture in 2003, on the phenomenon of left and right in evolution, and the Huizinga Lecture in 2007, on the role of play in culture. Goldschmidt lives in Amsterdam.