Famous Primatologists

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The closest living relative to humans are primates. The study of primates and their behaviors is primatology. Primatology provides a better understanding of the many aspects of the research, preservation and conservation of primates. The field of primatology has been fortunate to have several outstanding scientists, among them Jane Goodall, the late Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas. Each of them has accomplished considerable works documenting and interpreting the lives of chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans. Jane Goodall was born in London, England in 1934. From a very young age Jane had a very strong love for animals. She developed the dream to live in Africa after reading books about Tarzan and the story Dr. Dolittle. After graduating high school she became a secretary for a University and then worked for a filmmaker. In 1956 she was invited to visit Kenya by a family friend. During her time in Kenya she was hired as Dr. Louis Leakey's assistant at the Coryndon Museum. Dr. Leakey noticed Jane's exceptional interest in animals and that she was resourceful and patient. He decided that she was the person that he would send to study Gombe chimpanzees in Tanzania which is in East Africa. In 1960 Jane began her study and recorded all of her observations. National Geographic took notice and funded her study and sent a filmmaker to document her work. In order to be considered a serious scientist Jane earned her Ph.D. in Ethology from Cambridge University, which is the study of animal behavior in 1965 and opened the Gombe Stream Research Centre. The Centre is a place for graduate students and primatologists to study and learn about and even assist with research of the chimpanzees. Among many great accomplishments, Jane founded the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation in 1977, founded Roots and Shoots in 1991, founded TACARE in 1994 and was appointed as the United Nations Messenger of Peace on April 16, 2002. She...
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