STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - World acclaimed paleoanthropologist, Lee Berger, returned to his South Georgia roots to speak at the school where he began his career. Berger is a professor at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. He's previously worked with Louis Leakey, one of the leading scientist in the field.
Most recently, he led a team to discover fossils of skeletons for the species now called Australopithecus sediba. The fossils date back nearly two million years and were found in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage site just outside of Johannesburg.
Berger talked to students about the education he received at Georgia Southern and the opportunities he had for actual in-the-field experience.
"With the passion of those scientists, those lecturers, I would put the education I received up against those of people from those big-name schools," he said prior to his lecture, "It was every bit as good...if not a little better."
Berger echoed that theme when he talked about Georgia Southern's contemporary students and their recent discovery in Jenkins County. They found artifacts from a site that housed a prisoner of war camp for Union soldiers during the War Between the States.
"That discovery was made by a graduate student," he stated. "At a bigger-name school, those students may not have been allowed anywhere near that project."
Berger promised another announcement of a major prehistoric discover this Spring.