Professor, Institute for Human Evolution, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Professor Francis Thackeray is a palaeontologist who served as Director of the Institute for Human Evolution at the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa) for five years since 2009, prior to the establishment of the new Evolutionary Studies Institute where he is now based.  He has published research articles which include results of CT scanning of Plio-Pleistocene hominid fossils from the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in South Africa.  Through the University of Cape Town he obtained degrees in zoology, archaeology and environmental studies.  He obtained his PhD in anthropology at Yale University, based on a study of fossils from Wonderwerk Cave near Taung.  He was appointed Head of the Department of Palaeontology at the Transvaal Museum in 1990, and subsequently served as its Director.  He has also served as President of the South African Archaeological Society and President of the Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa.