Lee Berger

Paleontologist, Anthropologist, Archaeologist

In 2008, paleoanthropologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger—with the help of his curious 9-year-old son—discovered two remarkably well-preserved, two-million-year-old fossils of an adult female and young male, known as Australopithecus sediba, a previously unknown species of ape-like creatures that may have been a direct ancestor of modern humans. This discovery has been hailed as one of the most important archaeological discoveries in history. The fossils reveal what may be one of humanity's oldest ancestors. Lee believes the skeletons found on the Malapa site in South Africa could be the “Rosetta stone that unlocks our understanding of the genus Homo” and may redesign the human family tree. An Eagle Scout, Lee is the Reader in Human Evolution and the Public Understanding of Science at the Institute for Human Evolution at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.