- Category : Primatologist
- Type : GE
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Endeavor 1
Dame Jane Goodall, DBE (born Valerie Jane Morris Goodall on 3 April 1934) is an English 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 Park, Tanzania, and for founding the Jane Goodall Institute.
Early life and studies
Jane Goodall was born in London, England 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 only 12 years old, she moved with her mother to Bournemouth, 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 Gorge in eastern Africa. He asked Goodall to study the chimpanzees of Gombe Stream National Park (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 Kingdom where she earned a doctorate in ethology from the University of Cambridge 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 recently dubbed by some as "Leakey's Angels".
Goodall has been married twice. On 28 March 1964 she married aristocratic wildlife photographer Baron Hugo van Lawick at Chelsea Old Church, London, becoming Baroness Jane van Lawick-Goodall. The couple had a son, Hugo, 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.
Goodall is best known for her study of chimpanzee social and family life. In 1977, Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), which supports the Gombe 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 8,000 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.
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. Numbering is 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 (Congo) or by Prof. Christophe Boesch in the Tai Forest (Ivory Coast) 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.
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 Palace 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, Japan'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 Canadian city of Greater Sudbury, Ontario 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.
Animal welfare activism
Jane Goodall is an animal welfare activist and is the former president of Advocates for Animals, an organization based in Edinburgh, Scotland, that campaigns against the use of animals in medical research, zoos, farming and sport.
In May 2008, Goodall controversially described Edinburgh Zoo's new primate enclosure as a "wonderful facility" where monkeys are "are probably better off living in the wild in an area like Budongo, where one in six gets caught in a wire snare, and countries like Congo, 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."
In popular culture
Goodall is honored by the Walt Disney Company with a plaque on the The Tree of Life at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom 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 Graybeard 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 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.
Dr. Goodall also appeared and lent her voice as herself in the animated TV series The Wild Thornberrys.
In the American Dad! episode I Can't Stan You, a woman complains that her neighbour Linda Memari is hairy, and says that she "felt like Jane Goodall just talking to her".
In the video game Justice League Heroes while in Gorilla City, The Flash says "Quick!, Somebody page Jane Goodall".
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 Chimpanzees refuge who is secretly forcing them to mine diamonds for her benefit.
Jane Goodall is a regular character in the "Steve and Terry" theme of Irregular Webcomic.
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"