The team

Birgit Ricquier

Principal investigator, linguist, ULB

Specialized in Bantu historical-comparative linguistics and the Words-and-Things approach in particular, my research addresses Central-African pre-colonial history.

In BANTURIVERS, I study the linguistic history of the eastern Congo Basin and the history of fishing and navigation skills.

David Kopa wa Kopa

PhD student, linguist, ULB – UNIKIS

My research thus far concentrated on Kibudu, a Bantu language spoken in the northeast of the DRCongo.

In BANTURIVERS, I apply comparative linguistics to study past and present language contact in the eastern Congo Basin.

Shingo Takamura

PostDoc, anthropologist, ULB

My doctoral dissertation investigated regional market systems in the eastern DRCongo.

In BANTURIVERS, I study two fisher communities living along the Congo River or its tributaries, as well as their respective commercial networks.

Daou Véronique Joiris

Anthropologist, ULB

My expertise covers the anthropology of peoples living in the Central-African rainforests, in particular hunter-gatherer communities of southern Cameroon.

In BANTURIVERS, I will act as adviser and supervisor for the anthropological part of the project.

Els Cornelissen

Archaeologist, RMCA

I am specialized in lithic materials from the Late Pleistocene and Holocene in Central Africa, and conducted excavations along the Congo River and the Lindi.

In BANTURIVERS, I will act as advisor on archaeological matters and will analyse the excavated lithic material.

Alexandre Livingstone Smith

Archaeologist, RMCA

My special field is ceramics and the anthropology of pottery technology, with a special focus on the eastern part of the DRCongo, from Upemba to Kasongo, Kindu, the Congo River, Lomami and Itimbiri.

In BANTURIVERS, I will study past and present pottery networks and exchanges.

Laurent Nieblas Ramirez


I am specialized in African archaeozoology, with a special focus on the study of fish remains from Central Africa.

In BANTURIVERS, I study the faunal remains and the historical artefacts, photographs, and written documents that are the witnesses of the human-river fauna interactions from the past in order to fill the gap between the archaeological and anthropological knowledge.

Members of the scientific network

Nils Bourland, bio-engineer
Royal Museum for Central Africa

Christine Cocquyt, botanist
Botanic Garden of Meise

Edmond Dounias, ethnobiologist
French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development

Tom Güldemann, linguist
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Daiji Kimura, anthropologist
Kyoto University

Constance Kutsch Lojenga, linguist
Universiteit Leiden – SIL International

Hans-Peter Wotzka, archaeologist
University of Cologne

Peter Lambertz, anthropologist
Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris

Jacky Maniacky, linguist
Royal Museum for Central Africa

André Motingea Mangulu, linguist
National Pedagogic University of Kinshasa

Emmanuel Ngbanga Bandombele, linguist
University of Kisangani

Takanori Oishi, anthropologist
Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

Emmanuel Vreven, ichthyologist
Royal Museum for Central Africa

Rebecca Grollemund, linguist
University of Missouri