Zeresenay (Zeray) Alemseged
Position: Paleoanthropologist and chair and senior curator of Anthropology at the California Academy of Sciences
Institution: California Academy of Sciences
Education: Ph.D. in paleoanthropology from Pierre and Marie Curie University; M.Sc. in evolution from the University of Montpellier II; B.Sc. in geology from Addis Ababa University
Zeresenay Alemseged is an Ethiopian paleoanthropologist who studies the origins of humanity in the Ethiopian desert, focusing on the emergence of childhood and tool use. His most exciting find was the 3.3-million-year-old bones of Selam, a 3-year-old girl from the species Australopithecus afarensis.
By studying these bones, Alemseged is helping us determine the timeline of human evolution — how we came to be and spread across the Earth, 7 billion strong.
Fun fact: He speaks five languages.