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Dame Valerie Jane Morris Goodall, DBE (born 3 April 1934), is an Englishmarker UN Messenger of Peace, primatologist, ethologist, and anthropologist. She is well-known for her 45-year study of chimpanzee social and family interactions in Gombe Stream National Parkmarker, Tanzania, and for founding the Jane Goodall Institute.

Early life and education

Jane Goodall was born in Londonmarker, Englandmarker in 1934. As a child she was given a lifelike chimpanzee toy named Jubilee by her father. Goodall was not very interested in animals until her father brought her the stuffed animal. Today, the toy still sits on her dresser in London. After the divorce of her parents when Goodall was 12 years old, she moved with her mother to Bournemouthmarker, England.

Goodall's interest in animals prompted notable anthropologist Louis Leakey to hire her as his assistant and secretary. He invited her to accompany him and his wife, Mary Leakey, to dig at Olduvai Gorgemarker in eastern Africa. He asked Goodall to study the chimpanzees of Gombe Stream National Parkmarker (then known as 'Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve'). She arrived at Gombe accompanied by her mother in July 1960. Leakey arranged for her to return to the United Kingdommarker where she earned a doctorate in ethology from Darwin Collegemarker, the University of Cambridgemarker in 1964. Along with Dian Fossey, famous for living with gorillas, and Biruté Galdikas, who advanced studies in orangutans, Goodall was one of three women dubbed "Leakey's Angels".

Career in wild primate research

Goodall is best known for her study of chimpanzee social and family life. She began studying the Kasakela chimpanzee community in Gombe Stream National Parkmarker, Tanzania in 1960. In 1977, Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), which supports the Gombemarker research, and she is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. With nineteen offices around the world, the JGI is widely recognized for innovative, community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa and a global youth program, Roots & Shoots, which currently has over 10,000 groups in over 100 countries. Today, Goodall devotes virtually all of her time to advocacy on behalf of chimpanzees and the environment, traveling nearly 300 days a year.Goodall is also a board member for the world's largest chimpanzee sanctuary outside of Africa, Save the Chimps in Fort Pierce, Florida.

Goodall was instrumental in the study of social learning, primate cognition, thinking and culture in wild chimpanzees, their differentiation from the bonobo, and the inclusion of both chimpanzee species, and the gorilla, as Hominids.

One of Goodall's major break-throughs in the field of primatology was the discovery of tool-making among chimpanzees during her study. Though many animals had been clearly observed using 'tools', previously, only humans were thought to make tools, and tool-making was considered the defining difference between humans and other animals. This discovery convinced several scientists to reconsider their definition of being human.

Goodall also set herself apart from the traditional conventions of the time by naming the animals in her studies of primates, instead of assigning each a number. Numbering was a nearly universal practice at the time, and thought to be important in the removal of one's self from the potential for emotional attachment to the subject being studied. Among those that Goodall named during her years in Gombe were:
  • David Greybeard, a grey-chinned male who first warmed up to Goodall.
  • Goliath, a friend of David Greybeard, originally the alpha male named for his bold nature.
  • Mike, who through his cunning and improvisation displaced Goliath as the alpha male.
  • Humphrey, a big, strong, bullysome male.
  • Gigi, a large, sterile female who delighted in being the "aunt" of any young chimps or humans.
  • Mr. McGregor, a belligerent older male.
  • Flo, a motherly, high-ranking female with a bulbous nose and ragged ears, and her children, Figan, Faben, Fifi, and Flint.
  • Frodo, Fifi's second eldest child, an aggressive male who would frequently attack Jane and who once killed and began to eat a human infant.

Jane Goodall's involvement in tropical forests and conservation has led her to be actively involved in a number of environmental issues, and to found the Roots & Shoots youth group. She has also endorsed the Forests Now Declaration, calling for new market based mechanisms to protect tropical forests. She is a patron of the Optimum Population Trust.

Some primatologists have suggested flaws in Goodall's methodology which may call into question the validity of her observations. Goodall used unconventional practices in her study, for example, naming individuals instead of numbering them . At the time numbering was used to prevent emotional attachment and loss of objectivity. Many standard methods are aimed at helping observers to avoid interference and the use of feeding stations to attract Gombe chimpanzees is, in particular, thought by some to have altered normal foraging and feeding patterns as well as social relationships.

It has been suggested that higher levels of aggression and conflict with other chimpanzee groups in the area were a consequences of the feeding, which could have created the "wars" between chimpanzee social groups described by Goodall. Thus, some regard Goodall's observations as distortions of normal chimpanzee behavior. Goodall herself (on several occasions) acknowledged that feeding contributed to aggression within and between groups:

"I didn't see aggression to start with. There's no question that chimpanzees become more aggressive as a result of crowding, as a result of competition for food." (J. Goodall)

"It's very hard to look back with hindsight and say oh well I would have done it differently. If I had gone to Gombe and had access to information about the effect of feeding bananas on wild chimpanzees I wouldn't have done it". (J. Goodall)

However, Goodall has also said that the effect was limited to alteration of the intensity and not the nature of chimpanzee conflict and further that feeding was necessary for the study to be effective at all.

Some recent studies such as the study by Crickette Sanz in the Goualougo Triangle (Congomarker) or by Prof. Christophe Boesch in the Tai Forestmarker (Ivory Coastmarker) have not shown the aggression observed in the Gombe studies.

"So far, we haven't seen any abnormal levels of aggression. We've never seen chimps killing other chimps. We haven't seen highly elevated territorial disputes. If I had to guess, I wouldn't expect to see it". (C. Sanz)

"I have not seen this kind of killing in Tai Forest. This violence is not always present". (C. Boesch)

However, not all primatologists agree that the studies are flawed; for example, Jim Moore provides a critique of Margaret Powers' assertions and some studies of other chimpanzee groups have shown similar aggression to Gombe even in the absence of feeding..

Goodall in 2009 with Lou Perrotti, who contributed to her book, Hope for Animals and Their World.
Jane Goodall is an animal welfare activist and is the former president of Advocates for Animals, an organization based in Edinburghmarker, Scotlandmarker, that campaigns against the use of animals in medical research, zoos, farming and sport.

In May 2008, Goodall controversially described Edinburgh Zoomarker's new primate enclosure as a "wonderful facility" where monkeys are "are probably better off [than those] living in the wild in an area like Budongo, where one in six gets caught in a wire snare, and countries like Congomarker, where chimpanzees, monkeys and gorillas are shot for food commercially." This was in conflict with Advocates for Animals' position on captive animals, who stated "She's entitled to her opinion, but our position isn't going to change. We oppose the keeping of animals in captivity for entertainment." In June 2008 Goodall confirmed that she had resigned the presidency of the organisation which she had held since 1998, citing her busy schedule and explaining, "I just don't have time for them."


Jane Goodall has received many honors for her environmental and humanitarian work, as well as others. She was named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in a ceremony held in Buckingham Palacemarker in 2004. In April 2002, Secretary-General Kofi Annan named Dr. Goodall a United Nations Messenger of Peace. Her other honors include the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, the French Legion of Honor, Medal of Tanzania, Japanmarker's prestigious Kyoto Prize, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, the Gandhi-King Award for Nonviolence and the Spanish Premio Príncipe de Asturias. She is also a member of the advisory board of BBC Wildlife magazine.

In 2002, the Canadianmarker city of Greater Sudburymarker, Ontariomarker dedicated a walking trail, highlighting some of the city's efforts to rehabilitate environmental damage from the local mining industry, to Goodall.

On 7 July 2007 Goodall presented at Live Earth.

In April 2008, Jane was awarded the Montana State University Medal for Global and Visionary Leadership.


  • 1980: Order of the Golden Ark, World Wildlife Award for Conservation
  • 1984: J. Paul Getty Wildlife Conservation Prize
  • 1985: Living Legacy Award from the International Women's League
  • Society of the United States; Award for Humane Excellence, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • 1987: Ian Biggs' Prize
  • 1989: Encyclopaedia Britannica Award for Excellence on the Dissemination of Learning for the Benefit of Mankind; Anthropologist of the Year Award
  • 1990: The AMES Award, American Anthropologist Association; Whooping Crane Conservation Award, Conoco, Inc.; Gold Medal of the Society of Women Geographers; Inamori Foundation Award; Washoe Award; The Kyoto Prize in Basic Science
  • 1991: The Edinburgh Medal
  • 1993: Rainforest Alliance Champion Award
  • 1994: Chester Zoo Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • 1995: Commander of the Order of the British Empire, presented by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; The National Geographic Societymarker Hubbard Medal for Distinction in Exploration, Discovery, and Research; Lifetime Achievement Award, In Defense of Animals; The Moody Gardens Environmental Award; Honorary Wardenship of Uganda National Parks
  • 1996: The Zoological Society of London Silver Medal; The Tanzanian Kilimanjaro Medal; The Primate Society of Great Britain Conservation Award; The Caring Institute Award; The Polar Bear Award; William Proctor Prize for Scientific Achievement
  • 1997: John & Alice Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement; David S. Ingells, Jr. Award for Excellence; Common Wealth Award for Public Service; The Field Museum's Award of Merit; Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement; Royal Geographical Society / Discovery Channel Europe Award for A Lifetime of Discovery
  • 1998: Disney's Animal Kingdom Eco Hero Award; National Science Board Public Service Award; The Orion Society's John Hay Award
  • 1999: International Peace Award; Botanical Research Institute of Texas International Award of Excellence in Conservation, Community of Christ International Peace Award
  • 2001: Graham J. Norton Award for Achievement in Increasing Community Livability; Rungius Award of the National Museum of Wildlife Art, USA; Roger Tory Peterson Memorial Medal, Harvard Museum of Natural History; Master Peace Award; Gandhi/King Award for Non-Violence
  • 2002: The Huxley Memorial Medal, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland; United Nations "Messenger of Peace" Appointment
  • 2003: Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science; Harvard Medical School's Center for Health and the Global Environment Award; Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Achievement; Dame of the British Empire, presented by His Royal Highness Prince Charles; Chicago Academy of Sciences' Honorary Environmental Leader Award
  • 2004: Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest; Will Rogers Spirit Award, the Rotary Club of Will Rogers and Will Rogers Memorial Museums; Life Time Achievement Award, the International Fund for Animal Welfare ; Honorary Degree from Haverford Collegemarker
  • 2005: Honorary doctorate degree in science from Syracuse Universitymarker
  • 2005: Presented with Discovery and Imagination Award
  • 2006: Received the 60th Anniversary Medal of the UNESCOmarker and the French L√©gion d'honneur.
  • 2007: Honorary doctorate degree in commemoration of Linnaeus from Uppsala Universitymarker
  • 2007: Honorary doctorate degree from University of Liverpoolmarker
  • 2008: Honorary doctorate degree from University of Torontomarker

A complete list of Goodall's awards and honors is available through her curriculum vitae on the Jane Goodall Institute website.

Personal life

Goodall has been married twice. On 28 March 1964 she married aristocratic wildlife photographer Baron Hugo van Lawick at Chelsea Old Churchmarker, Londonmarker, becoming Baroness Jane van Lawick-Goodall. The couple had a son, Hugo Eric Louis, affectionately known as 'Grub', who was born in 1967. They divorced in 1974. In 1975 she married Derek Bryceson (a member of Tanzania's parliament and the director of that country's national parks) and they remained married until his death in 1980.Jane and her younger sister, Judy, both suffer from prosopagnosia, a neurological condition which impairs the recognition of human faces.




  • 1969 My Friends the Wild Chimpanzees Washington, DC: National Geographic Societymarker
  • 1971 Innocent Killers (with H. van Lawick). Boston: Houghton Mifflin; London: Collins.
  • 1971 In the Shadow of Man Boston: Houghton Mifflin; London: Collins. Published in 48 languages.
  • 1986 The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior Boston: Bellknap Press of the Harvard University Press. Published also in Japanese and Russian. R.R. Hawkins Award for the Outstanding Technical, Scientific or Medical book of 1986, to Bellknap Press of Harvard University Press, Boston. The Wildlife Society (USA) Award for "Outstanding Publication in Wildlife Ecology and Management".
  • 1990 Through a Window: 30 years observing the Gombe chimpanzees London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Translated into more than 15 languages. 1991 Penguin edition, UK. American Library Association "Best" list among Nine Notable Books (Nonfiction) for 1991.
  • 1993 Visions of Caliban (co-authored with Dale Peterson, Ph.D.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin. New York Times "Notable Book" for 1993. Library Journal "Best Sci-Tech Book" for 1993.
  • 1999 Brutal Kinship (with Michael Nichols). New York: Aperture Foundation.
  • 1999 Reason For Hope; A Spiritual Journey (with Phillip Berman). New York: Warner Books, Inc. Translated into Japanese.
  • 2000 40 Years At Gombe New York: Stewart, Tabori, and Chang.
  • 2000 Africa In My Blood (edited by Dale Peterson). New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.
  • 2001 Beyond Innocence: An Autobiography in Letters, the later years (edited by Dale Peterson). New York: Houghton Mifflin Company
  • 2002 The Ten Trusts: What We Must Do To Care for the Animals We Love (with Marc Bekoff). San Francisco: Harper San Francisco
  • 2005 Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating New York: Warner Books, Inc. ISBN 0-446-53362-9
  • 2009 Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species Are Being Rescued from the Brink Grand Central Publishing ISBN 0-446-58177-1

Children's books

  • 1972 Grub: The Bush Baby (with H. van Lawick). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  • 1988 My Life with the Chimpanzees New York: Byron Preiss Visual Publications, Inc. Translated into French, Japanese and Chinese. Parenting's Reading-Magic Award for "Outstanding Book for Children," 1989.
  • 1989 The Chimpanzee Family Book Saxonville, MA: Picture Book Studio; Munich: Neugebauer Press; London: Picture Book Studio. Translated into more than 15 languages, including Japanese and Kiswahili. The UNICEF Award for the best children's book of 1989. Austrian state prize for best children's book of 1990.
  • 1989 Jane Goodall's Animal World: Chimps New York: Macmillan.
  • 1989 Animal Family Series: Chimpanzee Family; Lion Family; Elephant Family; Zebra Family; Giraffe Family; Baboon Family; Hyena Family; Wildebeest Family Toronto: Madison Marketing Ltd.
  • 1994 With Love New York / London: North-South Books. Translated into German, French, Italian, and Japanese.
  • 1999 Dr. White (illustrated by Julie Litty). New York: North-South Books.
  • 2000 The Eagle & the Wren (illustrated by Alexander Reichstein). New York: North-South Books.
  • 2001 Chimpanzees I Love: Saving Their World and Ours New York: Scholastic Press
  • 2004 Rickie and Henri: A True Story (with Alan Marks) Penguin Young Readers Group


  • 1963 Miss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees National Geographic Societymarker
  • 1975 Miss Goodall: The Hyena Story The World of Animal Behavior Series
  • 1984 Among the Wild Chimpanzees National Geographic Special
  • 1988 People of the Forest with Hugo van Lawick
  • 1990 Chimpanzee Alert in the Nature Watch Series, Central Television
  • 1990 The Life and Legend of Jane Goodall National Geographic Society.
  • 1990 The Gombe Chimpanzees Bavarian Television
  • 1995 Fifi's Boys for the Natural World series for the
  • 1996 Chimpanzee Diary for BBC2 Animal Zone
  • 1997 Animal Minds for BBC
  • 2000 Jane Goodall: Reason For Hope PBS special produced by KTCAmarker
  • 2001 Chimps R Us PBS special Scientific Frontiers.
  • 2005 Jane Goodall's Return to Gombe for Animal Planet
  • 2006 Chimps, So Like Us HBO film nominated for 1990 Academy Award
  • 2009 Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees (IMAX format), in collaboration with Science North

In popular culture

David Greybeard Sculpture at Animal Kingdom
  • Goodall is honored by the Walt Disney Company with a plaque on the the Tree of Lifemarker at Walt Disney Worldmarker's Animal Kingdommarker theme park, alongside a carving of her beloved David Greybeard, the original chimp who approached Goodall during her first year at Gombe. The story goes that when she was invited to visit the developing Animal Kingdom park as a consultant and saw the Tree of Life, she didn't see a chimp as part of the tree. To rectify this situation, the Imagineers added the carving of David Greybeard and the plaque honoring her at the entrance to the It's Tough to be a Bug! show.

  • Cartoonist Gary Larson once drew a cartoon in his The Far Side newspaper comic that showed two chimpanzees grooming. One finds a human hair on the other and inquires, "Conducting a little more 'research' with that Jane Goodall tramp?" The Jane Goodall Institute thought this to be in bad taste, and had their lawyers draft a letter to Larson and his distribution syndicate, in which they described the cartoon as an "atrocity." They were stymied, however, by Goodall herself, who revealed that she found the cartoon amusing. Since then, all profits from sales of a shirt featuring this cartoon have gone to the JGI.

  • Goodall also appeared and lent her voice as herself in the animated TV series The Wild Thornberrys.

  • The protagonist in Jonathan Safran Foer's second novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, asks Goodall for a recommendation, to which she responds with a gentle rejection.

  • In The Simpsons episode "Simpsons Safari", a character loosely based on Goodall is a research scientist in charge of a chimpanzee refuge who is secretly forcing them to mine diamonds for her benefit.

  • On her album Street Angel, Stevie Nicks pays tribute to Jane Goodall with the track "Jane".

  • In the movie George of the Jungle, Beatrice Stanhope sits next to Ape the Gorilla and says "I feel just like Jane Goodall", to which Ape replies "Ma'am, I have known Jane Goodall, and you certainly aren't Jane Goodall".

  • A mild parody of Goodall appears in the webcomic, Irregular Webcomic as a foil to Steve, himself a parody of Steve Irwin. She would later appear as herself interacting with the comic's writer, David Morgan-Mar, in good humor.

See also


  1. Tool Use, Chimpanzee Central,
  2. Gombe National Park, Chimpanzee Central,
  3. Flo (approx. 1929 - 1972), Chimpanzee Central,
  4. Fifi (1958 - 2004), Chimpanzee Central,
  5. Power, Margaret (1991). The Egalitarians - Human and Chimpanzee An Anthropological: View of Social Organization. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521400163.
  6. Frans B. M. de Waal, Nature, Sept 2005, "skeptics attributed chimpanzee 'warfare' to competition over the food that researchers provided"
  7. Washington University Record, Vol 28 No 28, April 2004
  8. The Egalitarians (by M. Power, 1991)
  9. American Journal of Primatology 58:175‚Äď180 (2002), Noboyuki Kutsukake and Takahisa Matsusaka.
  10. Tim Walker, Is Jane Goodall about to lose her post?, The Daily Telegraph, May 23, 2008. Retrieved 18 July 18, 2008.
  11. Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, Defending captivity. Science, Vol. 320. no. 5881, p. 1269, June 6, 2008. Retrieved 18 July 18, 2008.
  12. [1]
  14. Jane Goodall Biography
  15. [2]
  16. Steve & Terry Cast Page
  17. Irregular Webcomic 1290

External links


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