Meave Leakey

Meave G. Leakey (born Meave Epps on 28 July 1942 in London, England) is a British paleoanthropologist. She works at Stony Brook University and is co-ordinator of Plio-Pleistocene research at the Turkana Basin Institute. She studies early hominid evolution and has done extensive field research in the Turkana Basin. She has Doctor of Philosophy[1] and Doctor of Science[2] degrees.

Meave Leakey
Meave Leakey holding the medal of the City of Toulouse
Born (1942-07-28) 28 July 1942
London, England
Other namesMeave Epps
Alma materUniversity of North Wales
Richard Leakey (m. 1970)
Children2, including Louise Leakey
Scientific career
InstitutionsStony Brook University
Turkana Basin Institute

Flat-faced man of Kenya

Dr. Leakey's research team at Lake Turkana, Kenya made a discovery in 1999. They found a 3.5-million-year-old skull and partial jaw thought to belong to a new branch of the early human family. She named the find Kenyanthropus platyops, or flat-faced man of Kenya.

Personal life

Meave Leakey is married to Richard Leakey, a palaeontologist. They have two children, Louise (born 1972) and Samira (born 1974). Louise Leakey continues family traditions by conducting palaeontological research.

Leakey initially studied Zoology and Marine zoology at the University of North Wales. Her first contact with the Leakey family was working for the Tigoni Primate Research Centre while taking her PhD at this time, the centre was being administered by Louis Leakey.

She received her PhD in Zoology in 1968.[1] In 2004, she was awarded an honorary D.Sc. from University College, London,[2] for Palaeontology. Leakey is currently a Research Professor for the Turkana Basin Institute (affiliated with Stony Brook University).[3] On 30 April 2013, Leakey was elected as a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, with specialties of Geology and Anthropology.[4] This made Leakey the first Kenyan citizen and also the first woman citizen of an African country to be elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences.[5] She was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2017.[6]

Position in the Leakey family

Selected publications

  • Rene Bob & Meave G. Leakey (2009), "Ecology of Plio-Pleistocene Mammals in the Omo-Turkana Basin and the Emergence of Homo", in Frederick E. Gine; John G. Fleagle & Richard E. Leakey (eds.), The First Humans: Origin and Early Evolution of the Genus Homo, Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology, Conference publication: Springer, pp. 175–184, ISBN 978-1-4020-9979-3, retrieved 30 April 2010
  • Lothagam: The Dawn of Humanity in Eastern Africa by John Harris and Meave Leakey, Eds. (December 2001).
  • Leakey, Meave; Walker, Alan (June 1997), "Early Hominid Fossils from Africa", Scientific American, 276 (6): 74–79, doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0697-74
  • Stratigraphy and Paleontology of Pliocene and Pleistocene Localities West of Lake Turkana, Kenya by John Harris, Meave Leakey, Eds. et al. (October 1988).
  • Harris, J.M; Brown, F.H; Leakey, M.G; Walker, A.C; Leakey, R.E (1 January 1989), "Pliocene and Pleistocene Hominid-Bearing Sites from West of Lake Turkana, Kenya", Science, 239 (4835): 27–33, doi:10.1126/science.239.4835.27, PMID 17820626
  • M.G. Leakey, R.E. Leakey, J.M. Harris (editors) (1978), Koobi Fora Research Project: Researches into Geology, Palaeontology, and Human Origins, 1: The Fossil Hominids and an Introduction to their Context 1968–1974, Clarendon Press, ISBN 978-0-19-857392-0CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)

See also


  1. "Bios: Meave Leakey". Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  2. "Honorary Graduates". UCL. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  3. "Department of Anthropology :: Faculty and Staff :: Turkana Basin Institute". Stony Brook University. Archived from the original on 25 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  4. "Member Directory". NAS Online. National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  5. "Meave Leakey elected to National Academy of Sciences". Press Release. Stony Brook University. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  6. "American Philosophical Society: Newly Elected - April 2017". Archived from the original on 15 September 2017.
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