Hugo Eric Louis van Lawick aka ‘Grub’: Who is Jane Goodall’s son?

Primatologist Jane Goodall
Who is Jane Goodall’s son, Hugo Eric Louis van Lawick, aka Grub? Pic credit: ©

Hugo Eric Louis van Lawick (aka “Grub”) is the son of the famous primatologist Jane Goodall, whose work and life was the subject of National Geographic’s new documentary Jane Goodall: The Hope.

The documentary aired on Earth Day, April 22.

Jane Goodall: The Hope

Goodall is best known for her groundbreaking studies concerning the social life of wild chimpanzees at the Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, during the 1960s.

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She spent many years among wild chimpanzees, studying their social behavior.

The two-hour documentary follows Goodall’s inspiring life since her trailblazing discoveries about the tool-making abilities and complex social life of wild chimpanzees.

The documentary also focusses on Goodall’s environmental activism and advocacy for the conservation of nature and wildlife.

Jane Goodall: The Hope – Trailer | National Geographic

Nat Geo’s Jane Goodall: The Hope also introduced the primatologist’s son, Hugo Eric Louis van Lawick, nicknamed “Grub” by his mother.

Since the documentary aired last night on National Geographic, people have been curious about Hugo Eric Louis “Grub” van Lawick.

Here is what we know about him.

Who is Hugo Eric Louis van Lawick, aka Grub?

Hugo Eric Louis “Grub” van Lawick Jr. was born in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 4, 1967, to Jane Goodall and Dutch wildlife photographer and filmmaker Hugo van Lawick Sr.

The two met in the 1960s after National Geographic sent Hugo van Lawick to Africa to film Goodall’s work among the wild chimpanzees. They got married in March 1964.

Goodall and van Lawick Sr. divorced in 1974 when Grub was around seven years old.

Hugo spent the first years of his life in East Africa with his mother.

She started taking him to meet chimpanzees in the wild when he was only an infant. Due to her concern about her baby’s safety, she built a protective cage for him.

“That was when he was a very tiny baby Before he could walk. It was a sort of cage, which we built. But you could stand upright and walk across it. He couldn’t even crawl. So it was almost like a giant cot.

And he was never on his own. He was never left even for five minutes without somebody in the room with him. And I never left him one single night until he was 3 years old.”

Although he spent his early life in the wild, Grub later went to England for his education. He returned to Tanzania after school and worked in the African country as a boat builder.

His father, Hugo van Lawick Sr., retired in 1998 and died in 2002 at the age of 65.

Grub currently lives in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, with his wife, Maria, and their three children, Merlin van Lawick, Angel van Lawick, and Nick van Lawick.

He previously talked about past conflicts with his mother due to her devotion to her work with wild chimpanzees. However, the two reconciled, and he supports her wildlife conservation projects.

Grub is also an animal rights activist and his children are also nature and wildlife conservation enthusiasts.

For fans of Earth Day, Discovery had a second special surrounding the holiday with Josh Gates Tonight, where he interviewed a plethora of people about conservation. Gates also had a new special he produced hitting Travel Channel for paranormal fans called Ghost Nation.

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Mary Ruppert
Mary Ruppert
3 years ago

why isn’t there more information about Grub’s wife Maria

Sarah Maria
Sarah Maria
3 years ago

There needs to be more about Grub’s Wife/Goodall’s daughter in law.