people Our team

JGI Belgium is run by volunteers ! We have quite a few different nationalities, ages, languages and backgrounds in our team.


Lise Grobbelaar

Lise was born in South Africa and a lawyer by training. Her passions in life are animals and nature and for this reason she joined the Jane Goodall Institute Belgium team in 2015. Since January 2018 she is the Executive Director. Lise loves: animals, Madiba, intelligent and broad minded thinking, reading a good book, people who make her smile, being warm, travelling, anything new and challenging. She doesn’t like injustice, suffering, rudeness, selfishness, laziness, people who disrespect the planet and all it’s living things and being silent when having a voice.


Tanya Perez

A chemical engineer originally from Venezuela and with an MBA from the US, she worked in several corporate jobs before taking on the best job in the world fulltime: taking care of her three small boys. After the boys strated to grow, as they often do, she looked for a new career, a more meaningful one. So in the spring 2015 she joined the JGI team as a volunteer Coordinator of Roots and Shoots Belgium hoping to help shape our youth to become respectful, empathic and aware of our impact in our planet and our society. She loves reading, sports, animals, travelling and food.


Alfred Bahati Eliba

Alfred is an Ecologist and Biologist in wildlife conservation. He worked for six years community conservation on grauer’s gorilla protection in the East of the DRC. From 2007 to 2012 he was Coordinator of the Usala Gorillas Reserve around the Maïko national park supported by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund international, he also volunteered for the Kumu Foundation supported by the Conservation International/CARPE-USAID program in central Africa on preserving forest against climate change. He joined JGI-Belgium as volunteer in 2015 in order to share his field work experience, to improve his knowledge and to contribute to the JGI. He wishes to make a difference to save our earth. He recently obtained his master degree in tropical wildlife management at the Liège University in Belgium.


Heather Frenette

Heather has been in love with primates as long as she can remember. She followed all three Louis Leakey ladies throughout her childhood. She loved the tales from them all and the wonderful stories of how the great apes were so like us. The day she met Jane Goodall for the first time though was a life altering event. That is when it became real: she was not just a child reading wonderful stories, but had found a real group that she could take part in. That is when she decided to join the Jane Goodall Institute as a volunteer and help the Apes and the people they represent. This is her hope.


Ronald Eelbode

Ronald is a Flemish chemist and web designer. He performs several IT-tasks for JGIB.

On the picture he is working at sanctuary De Zonnegloed.


Diane Marie

After intending to be a Miss Marple of her own and help Hercule Poirot to investigate, Diane is now working in the HR field. She has been an animal and nature lover her entire life and has taken courses on the subject and especially on ornithology. She admires Stephan Jay Gould and David Attenborough as well as Jane Goodall, of course!


Koen Margodt

Koen is an ethicist from education and working as a software trainer. As the passion for (animal) ethics remains, he has to live a double life! At Ghent University he did a Ph.D in philosophy on the moral status of great apes, which he is now turning into a book. He also gives guest lectures in animal ethics. He has been working with Jane to improve the lives of chimpanzees in captivity and is a co-founder of JGI Belgium. Today, he’s the president of the JGI Belgium board and an occasional backup volunteer.

Other volunteers: Søren Decraene, Ivan Dunsmore, Sophie de Spiegeleir, Sandy Pacuay, Stefanie Peeters, Celia Kitenge, Africa Barrios Trullols, Laureline Maurer, Eva Nagy, Madeleine Merche,
Katleen de Buyser, Tania Parys, Tania Dreelinck, Lysiane Pons, Martine Swiftlady