Professor of Vertebrate Paleontology
Laboratoire de Géobiologie,
Biochronologie et Paléontologie Humaine
Faculté des Sciences Fondamentales et Appliquées
Université de Poitiers, France.
Head of the international transdisciplinary team M.P.F.T.(Mission Paléoanthropologique Franco-Tchadienne) a scientific collaboration between the University of Poitiers, N\'Djamena and CNAR (N\'Djamena).
Professor Michel Brunet and his colleagues of the M.P.F.T. has dicovered a new hominid nicknamed Toumaï in the Djurab desert (northern Chad). The geographic location of Toumaï, 2500 km west of the Rift Valley, and his great antiquity suggest an early pan African distribution of hominids (at least from 6 million years ago) and an earlier chimpanzee-human divergence (at least as early as 7 million years ago) than previously indicated by most of the molecular studies.
In 1995 he described another new Chadian hominid species, Australopithecus bahrelghazali, dated around 3.5 Ma.
2003 Dan David Prize Laureate (Dan David Foundation)
Michel Brunet and M.P.F.T. (2002) A new hominid from the Upper Miocene of Chad, Central Africa. Nature.