NELSON Mandela Metropolitan University scored a major academic coup yesterday when it unveiled a world-renowned researcher as its latest addition and announced bold plans for a new centre focusing on the paleosciences.
Acting vice-chancellor (research and public engagement) Professor Andrew Leitch revealed this during a packed lecture last night given by celebrated paleoanthropologist Professor Curtis Marean.
A visibly excited Leitch said: “The vice-chancellor [Professor Derrick Swartz] signed Curtis’s letter of appointment this morning. It’s official. Curtis has been given an honorary professorship.
“This is an exciting time for us as an institution. Curtis will be involved with students, and any work he publishes will be under the university’s name.”
Marean, who learnt of his appointment last night, said the nod came as a great honour because he had a love affair and fascination with South Africa that began when he was in Grade 7.
Marean – who heads a multidisciplinary research project at Pinnacle Point in Mossel Bay – last night gave a glimpse into the fascinating work he does on the origins of early modern humans. – Xolisa Phillip