Louise Leakey was born in Nairobi, Kenya 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 documented person to find a hominoid fossil.
In 1993, Louise Leakey joined her mother Meave Leakey, as a co-leader of 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 promoted an initiative to place digital models of fossil collections in a virtual laboratory African Fossils where models can be downloaded, 3D printed or cut in cardboard for reassembly.