Ashley Kruger, credit John Hawks
Full First Name(s)
Title (honorific)
Academic Qualifications
PhD (2017, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa); MSc (2014, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa); BSc Honours (2012, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa); BA Psychology (2010, University of the Johannesburg, South Africa)
Research Discipline(s)
Brief Biography (English)

Dr Ashley Kruger is palaeontologist and palaeoanthropologist. After matriculating in 2005, he pursued his interest in fossils and human evolution and completed an undergraduate at the University of Johannesburg, and a BSc (Honours) at the Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, University of the Witwatersrand.

In 2013, while completing his MSc at University of the Witwatersrand, Dr Kruger’s work became an integral part in the National Geographic ‘Rising Star Expedition’ leading to the discovery of Homo Naledi – a new fossil hominin found in the Cradle of Humankind, just outside of Johannesburg. Now the largest fossil hominin site on the continent of Africa (currently the second largest in the word), Homo Naledi and the Rising Star site has shed much light on the evolution of the human species. He was part of the same team receiving the prestigious Nation Research Foundation of South Africa’s ‘Science Team Award’ in 2014 and is an author on a number of published papers on Homo Naledi appearing in many international, peer-reviewed journals.

For his work at Rising Star, Dr Kruger was awarded a PhD in Palaeoanthropology from the Evolutionary Studies Institute at University of the Witwatersrand. Dr Kruger’s PhD thesis focused on understanding the site formation and spatial context of hominin sites in the Cradle of Humankind. During this time, he pioneered a new method for digitally recording and analysing fossil discoveries in underground cave sites, a methodology widely used in archaeological excavations around the world today.

Dr Kruger completed fieldwork in many countries, including South Africa, Zambia, Argentina and Sweden and has undertaken excavations at a number of famous South African hominin sites. To date he has described two entirely new fossil species to science. His research interests are broad, aiming to answer important questions about human evolution, from our most distant non-mammal relatives (about 260 million years old) to our most recent human ancestors (about 1 million years old).

Job Title
Primary Organisation
Swedish Museum of Natural History
Website Address for Primary Organisation
African Country
South Africa
African Region
Southern Africa

Ashley Kruger, credit John Hawks