Conservationist Jane Goodall in Wellington for 80th year celebrations

Press Release – University of Otago
World-renowned conservationist and ethologist Jane Goodall is coming to Wellington next month to give one of a series of public talks marking 80 years of her extraordinary life.

The University of Otago’s Centre for Science Communication, with the Allan Wilson Centre, Wellington Zoo and Auckland Zoo will host the visit by Dr Goodall (PhD, DBE), who is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and the UN Messenger for Peace

Professor Phil Bishop, Assistant Director of the Centre for Science Communication at the University of Otago, says all four organisations are delighted Jane will visit New Zealand this year, and have announced “an evening with Jane Goodall” in Wellington (June 22).

All proceeds of these ticketed events will go towards projects run by the Jane Goodall Institute, and to support tens of thousands of people in over 130 countries involved with her Roots & Shoots initiative, also known as Solutionaries in Australia and New Zealand.

Roots & Shoots is a hands-on global humanitarian and environmental programme inspiring young people of all ages to help make the world a better place www.rootsandshoots.org.

“As one of the most legendary conservationists of our time, Jane will share her thoughts on the future of conservation, guidance on navigating the current threats the world faces, and above all, heartfelt reasons to maintain hope despite growing and often overwhelming odds,” says Professor Bishop.

The evening will also provide an opportunity to hear about her lifetime of work with the Gombe chimpanzees, including highlights from some of her unique experiences in the field. She will also discuss the future of chimpanzees in the wild and the relocation of most of the orphan chimpanzees in the Tchimpounga Sanctuary on to islands in the Koilou River in the Congo Republic.

“It is a great pleasure and honour to host Jane Goodall’s visit to the University of Otago, which is internationally acclaimed for its work in conservation. Hearing Jane talk about her experiences with the chimpanzees and her optimistic vision for the future of mankind is a breath of fresh air in today’s climate of doom and gloom,” Professor Bishop says.

Jane, who celebrated her 80th birthday on 3 April 2014, spends over 300 days a year travelling to many countries spreading the message of the threats faced by chimpanzees as well as other environmental crises, urging her audiences to understand the importance of personal responsibility and how each individual can help make a difference every day.

As a researcher, Jane’s work with the Gombe chimpanzees during the 1960s brought ground-breaking knowledge of the species and the close evolutionary and behavioural bonds shared between chimpanzees and humans. Her observations of watching chimpanzees use sticks to collect termites for food dispelled the belief that only humans create tools.

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