Gontier has a background in both Philosophy of Science and Anthropology, and holds a PhD in Philosophy that was awarded by the Dutch Free University of Brussels (Belgium). She is the founder and director of the Applied Evolutionary Epistemology Lab that is part of the Centre for Philosophy of Science at the University of Lisbon; the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Springer Book Series Interdisciplinary Evolution Research; and she functions as a permanent board member of the Protolang conference series.
She has published a Dutch monograph on 15 non-Neodarwinian theses that underlie research on the origin and evolution of life; and she had edited anthologies on reticulate evolution and macroevolution as well as on evolutionary epistemology, primate communication and human language. In addition, she has guest-edited special issues for journals including Evolutionary Biology, Theory in Biosciences and Language Sciences.
Her work is currently funded by the Fund for Science and Technology, Portugal. Previously, she has been an Invited Associate Researcher at the Faculty of Science of the University of Lisbon; a part-time Professor of Philosophy of Science at the Dutch Free University of Brussels (Belgium); as a Marie Curie Fellow, she has worked at the Division of Paleontology of the American Museum of Natural History (New York City, USA); she has been a Research Assistant for the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (Belgium); and a Research Fellow at the Konrad Lorenz Institute (Altenberg, Austria).