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Primatologist Jane Goodall to receive honorary degree from Western University

World-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall will receive an honorary degree from Western University in a special convocation ceremony at the end of April. Goodall is best known for her groundbreaking work studying chimpanzees in Tanzania, beginning in the early 1960s.

"There is perhaps no greater living scientist in the world that deserves this honour more," says Amit Chakma.

Jane Goodall will receive an honorary degree from Western University at a special convocation ceremony this April. (Michelle Valberg)

World-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall will receive an honorary degree from Western University at the end of April, the university announced this week.

Goodall is known for her groundbreaking work studying chimpanzees in Tanzania, beginning in the early 1960s. 

She received a PhD in ethology from Cambridge University in 1965, becoming the eighth person in Cambridge's history to pursue a PhD without first receiving a bachelor's degree. Her thesis, Behavior of free-living chimpanzees, chronicled her first years of study at Tanzania's Gombe Stream National Park.

Later in her career, Goodall shifted her focus to activism. She started the Jane Goodall Institute in 1977, which focuses on the research and conservation of wildlife and their habitats.

Jane Goodall is the author of several books, including the The Chimpanzee Family Book, which received the 1989 UNICEF/UNESCO Children's Book of the Year Award. 

Western University president Amit Chakma said that an honorary degree is the highest degree that the institution can bestow on a person. 

"There is perhaps no greater living scientist in the world that deserves this honour more than Jane Goodall," said Chakma. 

"Dr. Goodall has inspired generations of scientists and her trailblazing work with chimpanzees in Tanzania has contributed an extraordinary level of discourse and knowledge to the international scientific community."

Goodall has received several awards for her work, including the Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences and the National Geographic Society Centennial Award. 

She was made a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 2002 and became a Dame of the British Empire in 2003.

Goodall will receive the honorary degree at a special convocation ceremony April 25. 

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