Louise Leakey was born in Nairobi, Kenya, Africa in 1972, the same year that her grandfather Louis Leakey died. She first became actively involved in fossil discoveries in 1977, at the age of six, when she became the youngest person to find a hominoid fossil.
In 1993, Louise Leakey joined her mother Meave Leakey, as a co-leader of the paleontological expeditions in Northern Kenya. The Koobi Fora research project, has been the main program behind some of the most notable hominid fossil discoveries of the past two decades, the most recent being Kenyanthropus platyops.
Louise Leakey has been behind an initiative to place digital models of the fossil collections in a virtual laboratory African Fossils where models can be downloaded, 3D Printed or cut in cardboard for reassembly.
In 2003, Louise Leakey married Emmanuel de Mérode, a Belgian primatologist. They have two daughters: Seiyia de Mérode; born in 2004; and Alexia de Mérode; born in 2006.