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Prof. Lee R Berger is the Reader in Human Evolution and the Public Understanding of Science in the Institute for Human Evolution, School of Geosciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He discovered the site of Malapa in 2008, and, with his son Matthew, is the discoverer of the new species of early human ancestor Australopithecus sediba. He also discovered the female skeleton MH-2, the most complete early hominin skeleton yet discovered.
He is recognised as an international explorer with over 20 years of expedition leadership to his credit. He is the Director and Principle Investigator of the Malapa Project and leads over 70 scientists in what has been described as one of the largest palaeontological projects in recent history.
Berger, an award-winning researcher, author and speaker, is the recipient of the Friedel Sellschop Award for Young Researchers and the National Geographic Society’s first Prize for Research and Exploration. His work has featured as Discover’s and Time Magazines top 100 Science Stories of the year on several occasions. He has written numerous books and over 75 academic articles. He has appeared in dozens of television documentaries and is a regular commentator on evolution and palaeontology. An acclaimed speaker, he has delivered invited lectures to hundreds of corporate, government and other prestigious organisations, including the World Summit for Sustainable Development, the Royal Geographic Society, the Time Fortune CNN Global Forum, the Young Presidents Organisation and the National Geographic Society.He graduated from Georgia Southern University in 1989 and received his PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1994. Lee is an Eagle Scout, and Boy Scout Honor Medal winner. He is an avid diver and PADI Divemaster.