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New Honorary Fellows

Maarten de Wit

Geoscientist 20.02 March 2011

Prof de WitMaarten de Wit is one of Africa’s most distinguished Earth scientists whose research interests span geodynamics, tectonics and stratigraphy, early Earth processes and the evolution of the Gondwana supercontinent. Despite his European birth, he has become an ambassador for the entire continent. His promotion of the ‘Africa Alive Corridors’ programme is inspirational, as it embraces science, culture, landscape in a positive, educational, pan-African context and is a genuine attempt to embrace all African society.

He is Philipson Stow Professor of Mineralogy and Geology, University of Cape Town, 1989-present and was Founder and first Director, Centre for Interactive Graphical Computing of Earth Systems (CIGCES), University of Cape Town. He is also Director, Africa Earth Observatory Network (AEON). Professor de Wit has numerous long-term contacts with both the Society and the UK.

Meave Leakey

Dr LeakeyDr Meave Leakey is an outstanding figure in the rarefied, and male-dominated, world of fossil monkey and early hominid evolution research. She is particularly distinguished by her many years of dedicated field work, backed by a substantial body of high quality publications. She has been Research Professor, Department of Anthropology, Stony Brook University, New York since 1996 and since 1989 has provided distinguished leadership of field expeditions in Kenya, focusing on deposits from 8 to 3Ma, leading to major discoveries of earliest hominids, including Australopithecus anamensis and the human ancestor Kenyanthropus platyops.

Her UCL 2004 DSc citation read: “Dr Leakey is well known for her pioneering work with the Turkana Basin Research Project in Kenya, discovering evidence of our earliest human ancestors. She is a research associate in the Palaeontology Division of the National Museums of Kenya, and has contributed more to the world’s understanding of the early phases of human evolution in eastern Africa than any other individual.”