Prof Lee Berger
BA (Georgia Southern University); PhD (Witwatersrand)
011 717 6664
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 most complete early hominin fossils ever discovered that belong to a new species of early human ancestor -Australopithecus sediba. 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 two hundred scholarly and popular works including more than 100 refereed papers and a number of academic and popular books on palaeontology, natural history, and exploration. His work has been featured three times on the cover of Science, and has been named the top 100 science stories of the year by Time, Scientific American and Discover Magazine on numerous occasions. He has appeared in many television documentaries on subjects related to archaeology, palaeoanthropology and natural history.
He has founded the not for 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 one of the largest palaeontological projects, leading over 100 researchers in investigations of the Malapa site in South Africa as well as leading the Rising Star Expedition in 2013 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 was born in Shawnee Mission, Kansas and grew up in rural Georgia. He was a member of Troop 341 of the Coastal Empire Council. He was awarded his Eagle Scout in 1983 achieving his silver and gold palms.
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 the National Geographic Society. He holds a PhD in palaeoanthropology and a Doctor of Science in the same field.