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Professor of Biological Anthropology, University of Cape Town

Alan G. Morris is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Human Biology at the University of Cape Town. A Canadian by birth and upbringing, Professor Morris is also a naturalised South African. He has an undergraduate degree in Biology from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo Ontario, and a PhD in Anatomy from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Professor Morris has published extensively on the origin of anatomically modern humans, and the Later Stone Age, Iron Age and Historic populations of Kenya, Malawi, Namibia and South Africa, as well as forensic anthropology. He has an additional interest in South African history and has published on the history of race classification, the history of physical anthropology in South Africa and on the Canadian involvement in the Anglo-Boer War. Professor Morris was a visiting Fulbright Scholar in 2012-2013 and spent 9 months at The Ohio State University where he worked with American scholars on the ‘Global History of Health’ project. This was followed by visiting professorship at the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies at the University of Cambridge for four months in 2015 looking at African skeletons accessioned in British and Irish museums. He is a council member of the Van Riebeeck Society for the Publication of Southern African Historical Documents, was associate editor of the South African Journal of Science from 2009 to 2015 and is an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. His current research is on ancient DNA in African populations and the history of physical anthropology in South Africa.


  • –present
    Professor of Biological Anthropology, University of Cape Town


  • 1984 
    University of the Witwatersrand, PhD

Grants and Contracts

  • 2018
    Professor of Biological Anthropology
    Funding Source:
    National Research Foundation