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Ella Al-Shamahi - Paleoanthropologist - Changemaker Speaker Series
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Ella Al-Shamahi – Paleoanthropologist

Ella Al-Shamahi Studio Portrait

Palaeoanthropologist, evolutionary biologist, and National Geographic Explorer Ella Al-Shamahi is a Neanderthal specialist with a passion for fossil hunting in Paleolithic caves. A presenter on the BBC’s Our Changing Planet series, Ella was also the presenter and associate producer for BBC Two’s science series Neanderthals: Meet Your Ancestors and Horizon: Body Clock. She also hosted a National Geographic show Viking Warrior Women where—during filming—she discovered what might be the first evidence of a battle injury on a female Viking warrior. Her debut book, The Handshake (2021), was recognized as a Times (UK) and Sunday Times (UK) Book of the Year. She also performs “nerdy” stand-up internationally and has taken four science comedy shows to the Edinburgh Fringe.

Featured Presentation

Ella Al-Shamahi Sitting on Rock in Amazon Credit Marie-Claire Thomas

2% Neanderthal: Redrawing Our Family Tree

Are you ready to embark on a transformative journey into the world of human evolution? Look no further than Ella Al-Shamahi, one of the most unconventional paleoanthropologists working today. While she’s honed her dynamic storytelling skills as a globetrotting stand-up comedian and adventure TV host, it is her work leading expeditions into unstable and hostile territories that has given her unusual insight into our shared human history. Dig in with Ella—for what is sure to be an entertaining exploration—and uncover why we need to understand our recent ancestors’ failures in order to chart a better future.