In July 1960, at the age of 26, Jane Goodall traveled from England to what is now Tanzania and ventured into the little-known world of wild chimpanzees.

Equipped with little more than a notebook, binoculars, and her fascination with wildlife, Jane Goodall braved a realm of unknowns to give the world a remarkable window into humankind’s closest living relatives. Through nearly 60 years of groundbreaking work, Dr. Goodall has not only shown us the urgent need to protect chimpanzees from extinction; she has also helped to redefine conservation to include the needs of local people and the environment. Today she travels the world, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees and environmental crises, urging each of us to take action on behalf of all living things and the planet we share.

When Jane Goodall entered the forest of Gombe, the world knew very little about chimpanzees, and even less about their unique genetic kinship to humans. She took an unorthodox approach in her field research, immersing herself in their habitat and their lives to experience their complex society as a neighbor rather than a distant observer. She came to understand them not only as a species, but also as individuals with emotions and bonds. Dr. Jane Goodall’s discovery in 1960 that chimpanzees make and use tools is considered one of the greatest achievements of twentieth-century scholarship. Her field research at Gombe transformed our understanding of chimpanzees and redefined the relationship between humans and animals in ways that continue to emanate around the world.

On the path to becoming the world’s leading ethologist and environmentalist, Dr. Jane Goodall helped to redefine conservation. In 1977, she founded the Jane Goodall Institute to support the research in Gombe and scale up the protection of chimpanzees in their habitats. In the late 1980s, it became clear that Gombe was only part of the solution to a much bigger, rapidly growing problem of deforestation and declining chimpanzee populations across Africa. Knowing that local communities are key to protecting chimpanzees, she advocated for an approach to conservation that recognizes the central role people play in the well-being of animals and habitat. In 1991, when a group of young people confided their own deep concerns, she invited them to co-found Roots & Shoots, a program at work with young people in more than 50 countries to foster the informed generation of conservation leaders our world so urgently needs.

Today, Dr. Jane Goodall travels around the world, writing, speaking and spreading hope through action, encouraging each of us to “use the gift of our life to make the world a better place.“ As a conservationist, humanitarian and crusader for the ethical treatment of animals, she is a global force for compassion and a UN Messenger of Peace.

An Inspiring Journey

I had been told from school onwards that the best definition of a human being was man the tool-maker – yet I had just watched a chimp tool-maker in action. I remember that day as vividly as if it was yesterday.

Dr. Jane Goodall

Events with Dr. Jane

Dr. Jane in Action

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Dr. Jane

Dr. Goodall’s Message for World Oceans Day 2022

For World Oceans Day 2022, Jane shares her wonderful knowledge about oceans with us, and inspires us to look around for the good news stories and wonder – of which there is plenty. Thank you, Dr. Goodall! For more messages from Jane, visit our Youtube page.

Dr. Jane

Just Announced: New Events with Dr. Goodall

The Jane Goodall Institute of Canada announces its first in-person events with Dr. Jane Goodall in over 2 years The Jane Goodall Institute of Canada has announced in-person events with iconic naturalist Dr. Jane Goodall. Dr. Goodall will be returning to Canadian soil for the first time since COVID-19 cancelled her 2020 tour plans. An […]

Jane Goodall looking into the camera
Dr. Jane

The Hopecast S2 E15: Margaret Atwood

This episode of the Hopecast features a conversation between two “one and only” icons: Dr. Jane Goodall and celebrated author, inventor, and environmentalist Margaret Atwood brought together through an interview for Harper’s Bazaar’s March issue and for Women’s History Month. Margaret has written over 50 books of various genres including The Handmaid’s Tale, a renowned dystopian novel that has […]