Leakey visits ECU for Voyages of Discovery lecture

Renowned paleoanthropologist Dr. Louise Leakey will present “Secrets in the Sands: Revelations into How We Became Human,” at 7 p.m. Oct. 2 in Wright Auditorium at East Carolina University.

Leakey, a conservationist and explorer-in-residence at national Geographic, is the youngest member of the famed Leakey family of fossil hunters in east Africa. She has spent much of her life leading expeditions into the remote badlands of northern Kenya. Her team, The Koobi Fora Research Project, has made discoveries that have shaped modern thinking on the journey of humanity over the past 4 million years.

Like her parents, Richard and Meave Leakey, and her grandparents, Louis and Mary Leakey, Louise Leakey focuses her study on the evolution of early human ancestors. Particularly interesting to her is the period between 2 million years ago and 1.5 million years ago. In August 2007, Louise and Meave dug up new bones that have contributed to a rewriting of humanity’s evolutionary timeline. The Leakeys’ find suggests that different species of pre-humans actually lived side-by-side for almost half a million years.

Leakey completed her Ph.D. at London University. She is a research assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Stony Brook University and serves as the director of Public Education and Outreach at the Turkana Basin Institute.

Her presentation is the premier lecture of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series.

Complimentary tickets are available to ECU students, faculty and staff members with a valid ECU ID. Tickets are $10 for the general public. For tickets, call the ECU Central Ticket Office at 252-328-4788 or 1-800-ECU-ARTS. Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the event.

For additional information about the lecture series, contact Dr. John A. Tucker at 252-328-1028 or tuckerjo@ecu.edu or visit http://www.ecu.edu/voyages.