Jane Goodall

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A lover of nature and the African continent

Jane Goodall is a primatologist, ethologist and anthropologist, born in 1934 in the United Kingdom.

She is considered the world's greatest expert on chimpanzees, and is known for her fifty-fiveyear study on the social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in the Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania.

Goodall has always been passionate about animals and the African continent. She lived her childhood and youth surrounded by animals and dreamed about writing about animals in Africa. At twenty-three she began to make this dream come true when she travelled to a friend's farm in the highlands of Kenya.

In the 1960s the paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey, a teacher also for Dian Fossey, sent her to Tanzania with the risky mission of investigating the area's wild chimpanzees for the first time . She pitched her tent in the forest and began her research project. This project would in theory last six months, but it has lasted over half a century.

The results of her extensive field research revolutionized the scientific community and captivated the whole world through National Geographic documentaries, among others. Her perseverance, intuition, empathy and powers of observation enabled us to clarify many aspects of the then unknown world of chimpanzees, revealing their instrumental conducts, social structure, altruism, dominance, cannibalism, parenting, and adoption.

Her work has been fundamental not only to disseminate knowledge on chimpanzees and other species, but also to generate empathy and strengthen their protection and the protection of their ecosystems.

Jane Goodall is a PhD Honoris Causa by more than 45 universities around the world, including two Spanish institutions and has been awarded over 100 international awards, including the Premio Principe de Asturias Award for Research in 2003, the Legion of Honor of the Republic of France and the title of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

In April 2002, Secretary-General Kofi Annan named Dr. Goodall a “Messenger of Peace” of the United Nations, and was confirmed in her mission in 2007 by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

«What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.»