Area of expertise: Anthropology, Primatology, and Conservatism
Major contributions: Dame Jane Goodall is the world’s leading expert on chimpanzees due to her decades’ worth of research. She studied the familial and social interactions of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania. Her research challenged the long-standing belief that only humans can create and use tools and that chimpanzees only eat plants. She is also popular for her work in conservationism and animal welfare.
- 1990 – Kyoto Prize
- 1995 – Hubbard Medal
- 1997 – Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement
- 2006 – UNESCO 60th Anniversary Medal
- 2019 – Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society
Dame Jane Morris Goodall is a pioneering primatologist and conservationist who has made significant contributions to our understanding of the behavior and social relationships of chimpanzees. Born in 1934 in London, England, Goodall received her bachelor’s degree in ethology from the University of Cambridge and later earned her PhD in ethology from the University of Southern California.
Throughout her career, Goodall has focused on studying the behavior of chimpanzees in the wild. In the 1960s, she conducted a long-term study of chimpanzees in Tanzania, where she made numerous discoveries about their social relationships, tool use, and communication. Goodall’s work helped to shatter the longstanding belief that only humans were capable of advanced cognitive abilities and tool use and revolutionized our understanding of the evolutionary connections between humans and other primates.
In addition to her research, Goodall has also been an influential advocate for conservation and animal welfare. She has worked to protect chimpanzees and other endangered species and has raised awareness about the threats that they face, such as habitat loss and poaching. She has also worked to educate the public about the importance of protecting the natural world and has inspired countless others to become involved in conservation efforts.
Goodall’s contributions to the fields of primatology and conservation have had a profound impact on our understanding of the behavior and social relationships of chimpanzees and other primates. Her dedication to scientific research and her advocacy for conservation and animal welfare have inspired countless others to pursue careers in these fields and work to protect the natural world for future generations.