Jane Goodall is the world's
foremost authority on chimpanzees, having closely observed their behavior for
the past quarter century in the jungles of the Gombe Game Reserve in Africa,
living in the chimps' environment and gaining their confidence.
Her observations and discoveries
are intemationally heralded. Her research and writing have made, and are making,
revolutionary inroads into scientific thinking regarding the evolutions of
Dr. Goodall received her Ph.D.
from Cambridge University in 1965. She has been the Scientific Director of the
Gombe Stream Research Center since 1967. In 1984, Jane Goodall received the J.
Paul Getty Wildlife Conservation Prize for "helping millions of people
understand the importance of wildlife conservation to life on this planet."
Her other awards and international recognitions fill pages.
Her scientific articles have
appeared in many issues of National Geographic. She has written scores of papers
for internationally known scientific journals. Dr. Goodall has also written two
books, Wild Chimpanzees and In The Shadow of Man. She pleads to thousands of
people throughout the world on behalf of her career-long sponsor, the L.S.B.
Jane Goodall attributes her
dedication and insight to her work and her mission in life to her mother,
internationally known author, Vanne Goodall.
In 1985, Jane Goodall's
twenty-five years of anthropological and conservation research was published,
helping us all to better understand the relationship between all creatures. She
has now devoted over thirty years to her mission.
Dr. Goodall has expanded her
global outreach with the founding of the Jane Goodall Institute based in
Ridgefield, CT. She now teaches and encourages young people to appreciate the
conversation of chimpanzees and all creatures great and small. She lectures,
writes, teaches and continues her mission in many inventive ways, including the
Chimpanzee Guardian Project.
Goodall: An Extraordinary Life
the summer of 1960, 26-year-old Jane Goodall arrived on the shore of Lake
Tanganyika in East Africa to study the area's chimpanzee population.
Although it was unheard of for a
woman to venture into the wilds of the African forest, the trip meant the
fulfillment of Jane Goodall's childhood dream. Jane’s work in Tanzania would
prove more successful than anyone had imagined.
Must We Redefine Man?
At first, the Gombe chimps fled
whenever they saw Jane. But she persisted, watching from a distance with
binoculars, and gradually the chimps allowed her closer. One day in October 1960
she saw chimps David Graybeard and Goliath strip leaves off twigs to fashion
tools for fishing termites from a nest. Scientists thought humans were the only
species to make tools, but here was evidence to the contrary. On hearing of
Jane's observation, her mentor Louis Leakey said: "Now we must redefine
tool, redefine man, or accept chimpanzees as humans."
Also in her first year at Gombe,
Jane observed chimps hunting and eating bushpigs and other animals, disproving
theories that chimpanzees were primarily vegetarians and fruit eaters who only
occasionally supplemented their diet with insects and small rodents.
A Profound Effect on Primatology
In 1965, Jane earned her Ph.D in
Ethology from Cambridge University. Soon thereafter, she returned to Tanzania to
continue research and to establish the Gombe Stream Research Centre.
It is hard to overstate the
degree to which Dr. Goodall changed and enriched the field of primatology. She
defied scientific convention by giving the Gombe chimps names instead of
numbers, and insisted on the validity of her observations that animals have
distinct personalities, minds and emotions. She wrote of lasting chimpanzee
Through the years her work
continued to yield surprising insights, such as the unsettling discovery that
chimpanzees engage in a primitive form of brutal “warfare.” In early 1974, a
"four-year war" began at Gombe, the first record of long-term warfare
in nonhuman primates. Members of the Kasakela group systematically annihilated
members of the "Kahama" splinter group.
Dr. Goodall would also chart
surprising courtship patterns in which males force females onto consortships in
remote spots for days or even months. And she and her field staff in 1987 would
observe adolescent Spindle "adopt" three-year-old orphan Mel, even
though the infant was not a close relative.
The Jane Goodall Institute
In 1977, Jane founded the Jane
Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation to provide
ongoing support for field research on wild chimpanzees. Today, the mission of
the Jane Goodall Institute is to advance the power of individuals to take
informed and compassionate action to improve the environment for all living
things. The Institute is a leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their
habitats and is widely recognized for establishing innovative community-centered
conservation and development programs in Africa and the Roots & Shoots
education program in more than 70 countries.
Dr. Goodall's scores of honors
include the Medal of Tanzania, the National Geographic Society's Hubbard Medal,
Japan's prestigious Kyoto Prize, the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and
Scientific Research 2003, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, and the
Gandhi/King Award for Nonviolence. In April 2002 Secretary-General Annan named
Dr. Goodall a United Nations “Messenger of Peace.” Messengers help mobilize
the public to become involved in work that makes the world a better place. They
serve as advocates in a variety of areas: poverty eradication, human rights,
peace and conflict resolution, HIV/AIDS, disarmament, community development and
environmentalism. In 2003, Queen Elizabeth II named Dr. Goodall a Dame of the
British Empire, the equivalent of a knighthood.
Dr. Goodall has received honorary
doctorates from numerous universities, including: Utrecht University, Holland;
Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich; Stirling University, Scotland; Providence
University, Taiwan; University of Guelph and Ryerson University in Canada;
Buffalo University, Tufts University and other U.S. universities.
Dr. Goodall's list of
publications is extensive, including two overviews of her work at Gombe—In the
Shadow of Man and Through a Window—as well as two autobiographies in letters
and a spiritual autobiography, Reason for Hope. Her many children's books
include Grub: the Bush Baby, Chimpanzees I Love: Saving Their World and Ours and
My Life with the Chimpanzees. The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior is
recognized as the definitive work on chimpanzees and is the culmination of Jane
Goodall's scientific career. She has been the subject of numerous television
documentaries and is featured in the large-screen format film, Jane Goodall's
Wild Chimpanzees (2002).
Today, Jane spends much of her
time lecturing, sharing her message of hope for the future and encouraging young
people to make a difference in their world.
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