A Canadian primatologist who is the world's leading authority on orangutans. Since 1971 she has lived and worked in Borneo, at a place called Camp Leakey. It is named after Louis Leakey, the palaeontologist who was the teacher and mentor of Galdikas, Dian Fossey, and Jane Goodall, and sent them out to study primates.

She was born to Lithuanian parents in Germany on 10 May 1946, while they were travelling to Canada. She is married to Bohap, a Dayak: she spends part of her time in Indonesia but is also professor of anthropology at Simon Fraser University.

As an anthropologist and psychologist she studies the evolutionary implications for human behaviour of her close observations of the solitary orangutans. As she poetically put it: "I've always wanted to study the one primate who never left the Garden of Eden. I want to know what we left behind." Her awards include:

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