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DR. BIRUTÉ MARY GALDIKAS, OC (President of the Orangutan Foundation International) is considered a "Trimate,” one of the three most prominent researchers on primates (along with Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey), conducting one of the longest continual field studies of a single species of animal in history. Currently a professor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia and Professor Extraordinaire at Universitas Nasional in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dr. Galdikas received her doctorate in anthropology from UCLA in 1978.

Dr. Galdikas grew up in Toronto, earning a bachelors degree in psychology and zoology at the University of British Columbia and UCLA. As a UCLA graduate student, she met famed Kenyan paleontologist Louis Leakey, who, along with the National Geographic Society, initially helped fund Dr. Galdikas' research on orangutans in Tanjung Puting Reserve.

In 1971, Dr. Galdikas and then-husband Rod Brindamour set up Camp Leakey in the jungles on Indonesian Borneo near the edge of the Java Sea. She has conducted wild orangutan research and rehabilitation of the many orphaned orangutans turned over to her care for the last 40 years. Her second husband, a Dayak rice farmer and tribal elder, is co-director of the program in Borneo.

As a founder of the Orangutan Foundation International (OFI), Galdikas has become an outspoken advocate for both orangutans and the rainforest. Some of the honors she has received include the 1996 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement for her groundbreaking field research and lifetime contribution to the advancement of environmental science, 1997 Indonesia's Hero for the Earth Award, Institute of Human Origins Science Award, 1990 PETA Humanitarian Award, 1992 Sierra Club Chico Mendes Award, United Nations Global 500 Award and 1993 Chevron Conservation Award. In 1995, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2009, she received the Satya Lencana Pembangunan Award from the President of Indonesia for her lifetime service to the Republic of Indonesia.

She is the author of several books, including her memoir, Reflections of Eden, and over 80 articles in scientific literature.


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