Birute Galdikas

Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas has been studying wild orangutans for over 44 years at her Camp Leakey study area in Tanjung Puting National Park, Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia. With the exception of Jane Goodall’s work, Dr. Galdikas’ research is the longest continuous study of any single wild mammal population undertaken by a principal investigator.

Dr. Galdikas is the co-founder and President of Orangutan Foundation International (OFI), a non-profit with sister organizations in Canada, Europe, Indonesia, and Australia. She leads OFI’s work and spends up to half the year in Kalimantan at the Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine, Camp Leakey and other facilities she has established in Borneo. Dr. Galdikas and OFI are fighting the threat of orangutan extinction which is mainly due to the destruction of tropical rainforests, the orangutan’s only habitat. Dr. Galdikas teaches half time at Simon Fraser University where she is a Full Professor. She has received many awards and honors including Of cer of the Order of Canada, the Tyler Award (sometimes said to be precursor to the Nobel), and Kalpataru award from the President of Indonesia.