Dr Jane Goodall is considered the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees and a trailblazer in her field.
As a twenty-something, she went into the forest in Tanzania to study chimpanzees. But after seeing how their lives were being threatened by illegal trafficking and habit destruction, she set about on her mission to save them and their natural environment.
Unlike other researchers, Dr Jane is known for developing a close bond with chimpanzees and to become, to this day, the only human ever accepted into chimpanzee society. She was the lowest-ranking member of a troop for a period of 22 months.
Through her fieldwork, it was Jane who discovered that behaviours once thought to be exclusively human may have actually been inherited from ancestors we shared with chimpanzees millions of years ago.
She observed chimpanzees eating other mammals, at once debunking previous thoughts that they were vegetarians and not omnivores. She also saw how compassionate they are, and how chimpanzee mothers and infants develop strong bonds, while siblings also feel strong familial ties.
One of Jane's first discoveries was that chimpanzees also make and use tools out of natural sources such as twigs – a behaviour that had been considered uniquely human beforehand.
In 1977, she established the Jane Goodall Institute to encompass her legacy and her life's work. She and her organisation strongly believe that putting local communities at the heart of conservation improves the lives of people, animals, and the environment.
The institute's global youth leadership programme, Roots & Shoots, helps young people become an informed generation of compassionate citizens. It partners with schools, educators and youth organisations to inspire and educate young people to make a difference on an individual level.
See the full Kind List here
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.