It's not every day you see a Facebook post that changes your life, but that's exactly what happened to Leakey Foundation grantee Alia Gurtov. Gurtov was checking her Facebook feed one morning and saw a post from paleoanthropologist Lee Berger. He was looking for archaeologists who were "...skinny and preferably small. They must not be claustrophobic, they must be fit, they should have some caving experience, climbing experience would be a bonus. They must be willing to work in cramped quarters, have a good attitude and be a team player." Gurtov had never seen a job description that fit her more perfectly.
A few weeks later she was in South Africa, inside a cave chamber strewn with ancient bones. The fossils she helped recover have changed the story of human evolution and added a strange new relative to our family tree.
Thanks to Leakey Foundation grantees Alia Gurtov and Will Harcourt-Smith for sharing their stories.
You can learn more at leakeyfoundation.org.
The Leakey Foundation
Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. The Leakey Foundation had 12 grantees who participated in the Homo naledi research. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be doubled!
LinksCheck out the complete show notes and bonus material at leakeyfoundation.org
Editor: Julia Barton
Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson
Associate Producer: Shuka Kalantari
Sound Design: Katie McMurran
Theme Music: Henry Nagle
Intern: Yuka Oiwa
Additional Music: Tech Toys by Lee Rosevere
This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long.
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