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Donald C. Johanson

  • Institute of Human Origins
  • School of Human Evolution and Social Change

For the past 40 years, Donald C. Johanson has conducted field and laboratory research in paleoanthropology and has been an advocate for the public understanding of the science of evolution.

Johanson is the Founding Director of the Institute of Human Origins and discoverer of the 3.18 million-year-old fossil skeleton popularly known as "Lucy."

He narrated the NOVA television series, In Search of Human Origins, and is a sought-after speaker and lecturer around the world. Johanson has written many books, including the widely read Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind.

He also holds the Virginia M. Ullman Chair in Human Origins with the School of Human Evolution and Social Change and is an honorary member of The Explorers Club and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

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In the news

Modern humans are not the final resting place in our evolution. If the past is any guide to us, we too may someday face extinction as a species. We are united by our past, we are a single species of human on the planet today, and our future is intimately tied to how responsibly we care for the unique planet on which we live.

— Donald Johanson, CNN