Lee Berger

Global Perspectives Guest Speaker

Prof. Lee R. Berger Ph.D. D.Sc. is a world-renowned paleoanthropologist, physical anthropologist, and archaeologist. Time Magazine called him one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2016, and he has received numerous awards including the National Geographic Society’s first Prize for Research and Exploration and the Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award.

His explorations into human origins on the African continent, Asia, and Micronesia for the past two and a half decades have resulted in many new discoveries, including the discovery of two new species of early human relatives–Australopithecus sediba and Homo naledi. His contributions to exploration sciences have also resulted in advances in the field of applied exploration methods and the application of technology to exploration, excavation, and discovery.

He is the author of more than 200 scholarly and popular works including more than 100 refereed papers and a number of academic and popular books on palaeontology, natural history, and exploration. He found the non-profit Lee R. Berger Foundation for Exploration and was a founder of the Palaeoanthropological Scientific Trust and a founding Trustee of the Jane Goodall Society of South Africa. He is Director of bot the Malapa site and Rising Star excavations—the latter resulting in the discovery of the largest primitive hominin assemblage in history.

He is an avid diver and adventurer and holds a PADI Divemaster certificate among many other specialties.

Berger is presently the Research Professor in Human Evolution and the Public Understanding of Science at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa and an Explorer-in-Residence at National Geographic. He is also the Division Director of Palaeoanthropology in the Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand. He holds a Ph.D. in palaeoanthropology and a Doctor of Science in the same field.

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