Geoffrey Bourne Lecture

February 29

How Saving Gorillas Helps Save the World: The 2024 Geoffrey Bourne Lecture

Zoo Atlanta is honored to present Dr. Tara Stoinski, President and CEO and Chief Scientific Officer for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, as our distinguished speaker of the 2024 Geoffrey Bourne Lecture on Thursday, February 29 at 7 p.m.


In presenting her talk, How Saving Gorillas Helps Save the World, Dr. Stoinski will help us better understand the ways gorillas act as gardeners of some of the most biodiversity-rich and carbon-storing forests remaining on the planet. Through holistic conservation actions that combine boots-on-the-ground protection and science with people-centered solutions, the work of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund provides a road map for how saving gorillas also addresses some of our planet’s most pressing environmental and social challenges. Join Dr. Stoinski, a primatologist who has spent nearly 30 years studying gorillas and formerly led the primate research group at Zoo Atlanta, to learn more about how the Fossey Fund’s mission is saving a species and so much more.

Zoo Atlanta is proud to be a longtime conservation partner of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, which has its headquarters at Zoo Atlanta. By providing pro-bono space and resources, we proudly support their work for gorillas and human communities in Africa.

The Geoffrey Bourne Lecture will take place in the Michael and Thalia Carlos Ballroom in Savanna Hall. The lecture is open to the public and is free to attend, but RSVP is requested.

About Dr. Tara Stoinski

Dr. Tara Stoinski serves as President/CEO and Chief Scientific Officer for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

Prior to taking on the CEO role in 2014, she worked with the Fossey Fund for 13 years in a scientific capacity. Tara has studied gorillas for more than two decades and is the author of over 100 scientific publications and books. Her work has been featured in numerous press outlets, including National Geographic Magazine, CNN, and NPR. She holds degrees from Tufts University, University of Oxford, and the Georgia Institute of Technology and is an adjunct professor at Emory University. Dr. Stoinski also serves in a number of leadership positions within the conservation, primate, and academic communities.

About the Geoffrey Bourne Lecture Series

The Geoffrey Bourne Lecture Series is a scholarly series that brings esteemed scientists, educators, and conservationists to Atlanta.

 The Geoffrey Bourne Fund was established in 1999 to honor the late Dr. Bourne, the founding President of the Atlanta Zoological Society (AZS). The AZS was formed in 1970 to provide support for what was then known as the Atlanta Zoo. Dr. Bourne, who was at the time affiliated with Emory University’s Yerkes Primate Center, brought not only a love of the Zoo to his new role, but also a professional and scientific background which was instrumental in shaping the Zoo’s future mission. Under his leadership, the AZS implemented changes at the Zoo and worked to recruit other Atlantans to the cause while working to focus the Zoo’s mission on education and conservation.

The mission of the Geoffrey Bourne Fund is to recognize Dr. Bourne and his contributions to the development of Zoo Atlanta and the field of primatology – a present-day area of leadership for the Zoo – and to endow and implement the lecture series.

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