Wildlife Intelligence Project Tiago Falotico
Jun 13, 2024

National Geographic Wildlife Intelligence Project: Inspired by Jane Goodall & the Templeton Prize (video)

Templeton World Charity Foundation awarded the National Geographic Society a grant to fund and follow the next generation of scientists reshaping our understanding of animal cognition.

By Templeton Staff

Inspired by the groundbreaking work of Dr. Jane Goodall, 2021 Templeton Prize Laureate, Templeton World Charity Foundation awarded the National Geographic Society with a grant to support three National Geographic Explorers as they seek to answer questions about animal intelligence. 

Alongside insights from Jane Goodall, this video features each of the three Explorers selected for the Wildlife Intelligence Project, discussing their work.


“If they keep their eyes, their ears, and their minds open they will discover new things.”

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, 2021 Templeton Prize Laureate, UN Messenger of Peace
The selected researchers are:

Mauricio Cantor, a Brazilian biologist and assistant professor at Oregon State University, will examine cooperative behavior among dolphins and humans across three sites in Brazil, India and Myanmar. Cantor will examine whether specific ecological conditions have contributed to the evolution of human-dolphin cooperation among fishing communities in these regions. Cantor heads the Lab for Animal Behavioural Interaction Research In The Ocean (LABIRINTO) and serves as adjunct faculty at two universities in Brazil where he teaches and supervises ocean behavioral ecology. 

Felicity Muth is the head of the Muth Lab and assistant professor in the department of neurobiology, physiology and behavior at the University of California Davis. Muth’s research will explore how ecology shapes the behavior of wild bees. Working with wild bees from rural Nevada and California, Felicity will study how the surrounding environment affects how bees learn and make decisions. Muth is a prolific science communicator and recently published a children’s book on bee diversity titled “Am I Even a Bee?”.

Tiago Falótico is a Brazilian primatologist and ethologist who studies the behavior, social learning and culture of wild primates. Falótico’s research will focus on the use of tools among wild capuchin monkeys in Brazil’s Serra da Capivara and Ubajara National Parks. Using a primate archaeology approach, he will compare tool use behavior between different sexes and groups of capuchin monkeys to help drive a better understanding of primate cognition, cultural behavior and human evolution.

About the Wildlife Intelligence Project: As our planet faces unprecedented challenges, including the loss of precious wildlife and ecosystems, animals continue to adapt to their surroundings to find new ways to thrive — just like us. The more we understand about wildlife and their intelligence, the more we can reflect on our place and purpose within the natural world. Learn more via the National Geographic Society.

About TWCF's Diverse Intelligences: Templeton World Charity Foundation's Diverse Intelligences is a multiyear, global effort to understand a world alive with brilliance in many forms. Its mission is to promote open-minded, forward-looking inquiry in animal, human, and machine intelligences. We collaborate with leading experts and emerging scholars from around the globe, developing high-caliber projects that advance our comprehension of the constellation of intelligences.

Related podcast: Changing the World with Dr. Jane Goodall

Templeton World Charity Foundation’s “Stories of Impact” videos by journalist and senior media executive Richard Sergay feature human stories and critical perspectives on breakthroughs about the universe’s big questions. The inspiring narratives and observations in these award-winning videos portray the individual and societal impacts of the projects that bring to life TWCF-supported research.