Internationally Recognized Scholar Meave Leakey to Speak at ‘Our African Origins’ Symposium

Africa is known to be the starting point of human origins as new fossil discoveries continue to add knowledge to scientists’ understanding of human evolution. On March 21 and 22, MU will host some of the world’s leading scholars, including Meave Leakey, PhD, research professor at the University of Stony Brook in New York, during the “Our African Origins” symposium.

The symposium will feature a keynote address by Leakey, followed by a day-long symposium on fossil evidence of human evolution. Carol Ward, PhD, Curators’ professor in the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences in the MU School of Medicine and the Department of Anthropology in the MU College of Arts and Science, will join leading scholars to share the latest discoveries. Currently, Ward helps lead one of the major teams discovering fossils in Africa.

“Scientists will present fossil evidence for human evolution in Africa,” Ward said. “We will highlight that we all have origins from Africa; we are all one people.”

Ward said the symposium will increase awareness of the importance of Africa for understanding humanity, its history and the human condition. The conference is sponsored by many departments on campus including, University of Missouri Health Care and the MU School of Medicine.

“We are excited to bring top caliber scholars to MU to increase the awareness of our research in this exciting field, our university and the MU African Interdisciplinary Studies Hub,” Ward said.

During the symposium, MU students, alumni and members of the community will have opportunities to interact with visiting scientists.