ERLNMYR is the busi­ness of impro­vi­ser and doc­tor in lin­guis­tics Ben Ver­hoe­ven. During his sci­en­ti­fic career he beca­me fas­ci­na­ted with sci­en­ce com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on for which he used more and more of his impro­vi­sa­ti­o­nal skills. Below you will find an over­view of Ben’s back­ground and run­ning pro­jects in both sci­en­ce and improvisation.


Ben has been acting in impro­vi­sa­ti­o­nal the­a­ter sin­ce 2011. After a cou­ple of years in the pro­ver­bi­al class­room, he co-foun­ded Swaajp Impro­the­a­ter with a cou­ple of like-min­ded spi­rits; a real Ant­werp the­a­ter com­pa­ny and later on even impro­vi­sa­ti­o­nal school. Swaajp does not only pro­vi­de the­a­tri­cal per­for­man­ces in Dut­ch but just as well in English. 

Ben is also a mem­ber of Com­mo­tie, a musi­cal improv ensem­ble that in 2017 ear­ned the award for “best long­form improv show in Flan­ders” at the improv com­pe­ti­ti­on Kemphanen. 

Ben is often seen at inter­na­ti­o­nal improv fes­ti­vals, whe­ther it is to watch per­for­man­ces and learn from work­shops and mas­ter­clas­ses, to teach work­shops himself, or to per­form for example with the Dut­ch-Bel­gi­an ensem­ble Were­wol­ves, The Improv Show or with the trio Prism. With the lat­ter group he won the Kemp­ha­nen award again in 2019. 

As a pas­si­o­na­te orga­ni­zer he is also foun­ding mem­ber of The SIN — an inter­na­ti­o­nal net­work  of ambi­tious improv play­ers and orga­ni­zers in Europe.

Last but not least, Ben is very inte­rested in music. He shows this not only with his voi­ce, but just as well with his hands and feet. It’s not uncom­mon for him to step asi­de from the sta­ge to assist the the­a­tri­cal per­for­man­ce as per­cus­si­o­nist. A beau­ti­ful example is Improo­ve­li­cious, an inter­na­ti­o­nal improv fes­ti­val in Leu­ven whe­re he was the in-hou­se drum­mer in 2018. 


Ben is a com­puta­ti­o­nal lin­guist by edu­ca­ti­on. In short, this means that he is a lin­guist that stu­dies and models lan­gu­a­ge with computers. 

His aca­de­mic career star­ted in 2012 with the inter­na­ti­o­nal internship at the North-West Uni­ver­si­ty in South Afri­ca, whe­re he researched how the mea­ning of new­ly com­poun­ded words can auto­ma­ti­cally be discovered. 

Some time later he star­ted his doc­to­ra­te at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ant­werp with the AMi­CA pro­ject, a pro­ject that uses text tech­no­lo­gy to auto­ma­ti­cally recog­ni­ze trans­gres­si­ve beha­vi­our on soci­al media. In 2014 he recei­ved a Young Researchers Grant from FWO Vlaan­de­ren (the Fle­mish foun­da­ti­on for sci­en­ti­fic research), which allo­wed him four more years to research author pro­fi­ling. The main research ques­ti­on: “Which charac­te­ris­tics of the author can we pre­dict sole­ly based on their text”. 

During this doc­to­ra­te, Ben got inte­rested in sci­en­ce com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on. With suc­cess, as show his third pla­ce at Fame­Lab Bel­gi­um, his sci­en­ce come­dy at Bright Club Brus­sels and his pre­sen­ce at many Sci­en­ce Days, Sci­en­ce Weeks and the Children’s Uni­ver­si­ty. Becau­se of the­se efforts and achie­ve­ments, in 2017 he was awar­ded the Annu­al Sci­en­ce Com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on Pri­ze at the KVAB, the Roy­al Fle­mish Aca­de­my of Bel­gi­um for Sci­en­ce and the Arts. 

In June 2018, Ben defen­ded his doc­to­ral the­sis and was suc­ces­sful­ly gran­ted the diplo­ma and tit­le of Doc­tor in Lin­guis­tics.