Dr. Jane GoodallAnimals
Dr. Goodall’s discoveries about chimpanzees started in 1960, and since then she has earned countless recognition and achievements for her efforts, including being named a UN Messenger of Peace. Today, Dr. Goodall travels nearly 80% of the year giving lectures, speaking with students involved in Roots & Shoots, meeting with government officials, partaking in interviews and raising awareness about the work of the Jane Goodall Institute. Her mission is to encourage action on behalf of endangered species, particularly chimpanzees, and empower others to make the world a better place.
“Jane is in great demand and known as an inspirational speaker who often moves her audiences to tears. Some people say their lives have been changed by Jane’s message and her example.”
–The Jane Goodall Institute
At the age of 26, Dr. Jane Goodall bravely traveled from her home in England to study the behavior of chimpanzees in what is today Tanzania. Until this time, people knew very little of the species. Dr. Goodall’s first notable discovery came in November of 1960 when she witnessed chimpanzees use and make a tool while fishing for termites. Until then, scientists believed humans were the only species to use and make tools. She also discovered that chimps would hunt for food that included a variety of small animals, contrary to the belief that they were solely vegetarians.
These discoveries led National Geographic to take notice, and they began sponsoring Jane’s work. A filmmaker and photographer was sent to document Dr. Goodall’s life in Gombe. National Geographic began producing articles about Jane in magazines and featuring her in TV specials. While studying the chimpanzees, Dr. Louis Leakey, Jane’s mentor, advised that she needed to attend university to get a degree, but there was no time for a bachelors, she would have to go right into a doctorate program. In 1962, she was one of very few to be admitted into Cambridge University as Ph.D. candidate without a college degree. She earned her Ph.D. in Ethology (the science of animal behavior) in 1966, and since then, has been awarded more than 50 honorary degrees.
Much of what we know today about chimpanzees is because of Dr. Goodall’s dedication and passion for learning. She founded the Gombe Stream Research Centre in 1965, where graduate students and others go to assist with chimpanzee observations. In 1977, Dr. Goodall also founded the Jane Goodall Institute, “a global nonprofit that empowers people to make a difference for all living things. Our work builds on Dr. Goodall’s scientific work and her humanitarian vision.”