The guy behind the lens

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Rising Star (Homo naledi) Interviews

During July of 2015 I was fortunate to be able to spend two weeks at the Evolutionary Studies Institute (ESI) at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa with a remarkable group of scientists and explorers. As followers of this blog know I have been following and supporting the work of the Rising Star expedition which discovered and recovered a huge collection of hominin fossil bones starting in November, 2013. Indeed the open access nature of that excavation allowed my students and I to follow the hour by hour updates on Twitter which led to he creation of what's become known as the "Twitter Play by Play" of the excavation - you can access that resource HERE.

My recent visit allowed me to get to know many of the Rising Star team members and I was struck by the immense dedication and teamwork these varied researchers and explorers shared with me. That has led me to interview members of the team so that you can get a taste for how a great team can work cooperatively in a complex endeavor to make the most of what is a groundbreaking fossil discovery. All interviews were conducted by me either in the entrance chamber of the Rising Star cave, at the Evolutionary Studies Institute, or via Skype.  With the PBS/NOVA/National Geographic documentary about this discovery ("Dawn of Humanity") set to air on September 16th, I hope these interviews will allow you different and possible deeper view into the people and personas that made this expedition such a success.

This page will be continually updated with new interviews as they become available so please bookmark this page and come back often for updates!

Dr. Lee Berger & Dr. John Hawks discuss the discovery and significance of Homo naledi 

Interview #11 - Matthew & Megan Berger - Fossil photography and caving support

Interview #10 - Marina Elliott - Lead excavator

Interview # 9 - Hannah Morris - Primary excavator

Interview # 8 - Alia Gurtov - Primary excavator & Rising Star Workshop Member

Interview # 7 - Lindsay Hunter - Primary excavator

Interview # 6 - Becca Peixotto - Primary excavator

 Interview #5 - Elen Feuerriegel - Primary excavator and Rising Star Workshop Member

Interview #4 - Maropeng Ramalepa  and Dirk Van Rooyen. - Exploration Technicians

Interview #3 - Nompumelelo Hlophe - Exploration Technician

Interview #2 - Rick Hunter  - Exploration Technician and one of the original "discoverers" of the fossil chamber.

Interview #1 - Steven Tucker  - Exploration Technician and one of the original "discoverers" of the fossil chamber.

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