World-renowned paleoanthropologist Lee Berger will return to his alma mater to talk about his journey that began in a classroom at Georgia Southern.
Berger will present "From Georgia Southern to Africa-The Pathway to the Discovery of the Most Complete Early Humans in History" at Georgia Southern's Carol A. Carter Recital Hall in the Foy Building on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Last year, Berger unveiled his discovery and identification of a new hominid species that may hold significant evidence in the research of human evolution.
Berger led a team of researchers from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, which discovered and named the species "Australopithecus sediba." The fossils date back nearly two million years and were found in the "Cradle of Humankind World Heritage" site just outside of Johannesburg, South Africa.
Berger's discovery made international news and was profiled on the CBS news program "60 Minutes" last spring. Berger is widely regarded as an heir apparent to the late legendary anthropologist Louis Leakey.
"Even though his work has taken him around the world and given him international fame, Lee has never forgotten Georgia Southern," said Department of Sociology and Anthropology Chair Peggy Hargis, Ph.D. "The lecture he will give here is very similar to the one he is giving at the Smithsonian and National Geographic. Our students and our community will have the unique opportunity to hear from Lee what it has been like to travel the world and make the scientific discovery of a lifetime."
In addition to working with the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, Berger holds adjunct professorial positions in the Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy at Duke University and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Arkansas.
While the presentation is free, a private reception honoring Dr Berger, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. will be held Saturday. Tickets are $50 per person or $75 per couple and can be reserved by calling the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at 912-478-5149. All proceeds will help support students' archeological research at Georgia Southern. To attend, participants must RSVP no later than Wednesday.