Jane Goodall

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by LeanneIsabelle
Last updated 5 years ago

Scientific Biographies

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Jane Goodall

Motivation for going into science: Jane Goodall’s love for animals started at an early age. She is mostly known for her work in Africa among the chimpanzees, but her other love is for the awareness for all wildlife. She has established tons of organizations, lectures, informational textbooks, novels, fundraisers, etc.

Roadblocks: In the 1960’s it was against the norm for young girls to travel outside of the country without a chaperone. So when Jane stepped off of the plane to the Tanzania Jungle, her mother was right beside her. Thinking about this issue in today’s world there are major differences.

Working conditions/ Spirit: Jane Goodall’s working conditions were almost never luxurious. She was working in the jungle with high temperatures and dangerous animals. She would be working in the field where six hundred pound chimpanzees would be feet away from her. Her job everyday was dangerous, but she feared nothing. She saw the beauty in every animal she came across and she would even name each chimp that she would encounter.


Science philosophy: Jane Goodall’s scientific philosophy was to redefine the differences between human beings and other primates. Along the way she hoped to change and challenge other scientist and urge them to try harder and find alternative uses of animals in research.

Support: “You can do whatever you set your mind to” –Venna Morris Goodall (Mother) Jane's mother was her number one fan ' supporter. She gave her the courage to follow her dreams even when people said that it would never be possible. With her mother's guidance and love, Jane pursued her dreams and made them reality.


Contribution to/influence on the field: Jane Goodall established the term “banana club,” which is a daily systematic feeding method she used to gain trust with chimpanzees. She imitated behaviors, ate their foods, and lived in their environments, as if she was a chimpanzee herself. She discovered many ways to communicate with chimpanzees. She noted that chimps have very complex social systems, behaviors, and primitive communication methods; just like human beings. It was believed that chimpanzees were exclusively vegetarian, but Jane Goodall witnessed them hunting for prey and eating large insects, birds, and other animals such as baby baboons. Jane has had a very big influence on Africa, this is where most of her research has been made but she has traveled all over the world. She is a speaker at events and has created organizations to save the wildlife and to try to help people of all ages realize how similar wild animals are to human beings. She has preserved environments and encourages nature-friendly tourism programs. She works with businesses and local governments to promote ecological responsibility. To this day, at 81 years old, she is still trying to make a difference and her experience does nothing but help her.

Background: Jane Goodall was born in London on April 3, 1934. In her early life, she found a love with chimpanzees. Her mother first gave her a stuffed animal toy of a chimpanzee and she named it Jubilee. That stuffed Chimpanzee still sits on her dresser at her home to this very day. This is what started Jane’s love for wild animals. As Jane grew into a young adult, in her time period it was out of the norm for women to be going out into the jungle and working side by side with real wild animals. But, from the beginning Jane’s mother, Vanne, was her biggest fan and biggest support. When Jane was twenty-two years old she was given the opportunity to go visit her friend’s family’s farm in Kenya. She wasted no time and starting working at a restaurant trying to save as much money as possible to make the trip possible.

Role Models: Louis Leaky whom was the man that gave Jane the opportunity to work in a National Museum. Louis Leaky was a scientist, just like Jane, who believed that there was a connection between science and religion and that both studies were compatible. He was a paleoanthropologist and archaeologist who was involved with human evolutionary development mainly in Africa. He had the same love affair with Africa, as did Jane. He believed that Jane was a serious and methodical person that would be a great member of the project he was running, which was a project of the study of chimpanzees. This was Jane’s gateway to the land of the chimpanzees. It became her life’s work.


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