Staff Spotlight: Bill Wallauer
Today, Bill is a sought-after speaker for adults and youth. His infectious personality, great stories and chimpanzee multimedia presentation help audiences understand the chimpanzees’ behavior and emotional capacity, and the similarities and differences between humans and chimps. Bill’s passion for the chimps he knows so intimately truly makes him the Jane Goodall Institute’s “Chimp Champion.”
Bill Wallauer offers a unique and fascinating view of life among wild chimpanzees. For 15 years, Bill spent just about every day following the wild chimpanzees of Gombe National Park in Tanzania, capturing the intimate details of their daily life. He has commented that, during those years, he spent more time with chimpanzees than with humans.
Film production companies have recognized Bill’s talent and recruited him as a film camera operator, videographer and consultant for wildlife films shot at Gombe and in other parts of Africa. He has served as camera operator and scientific advisor for more than 30 productions, including BBC/Animal Planet’s "Chimp Week" and BBC/Discovery’s 10-part series, "Planet Earth." Most recently, he worked as prinicipal photography for Disneynature's "Chimpanzee."
Bill became part of the life at the Jane Goodall Institute’s Gombe Stream Research Center in 1989 while on assignment for the U.S. Peace Corps in southern Tanzania. After completing his Peace Corps work in May 1992, the Oregon native was drawn back to Tanzania to help study the Gombe chimpanzees. After he successfully captured a wild chimpanzee birth on videotape, Dr. Goodall asked Bill to follow the chimps and record their daily activities and behavior—which he did for the next 15 years.