Louise Leakey

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Her Highness

Louise, Princess of Merode
Born (1972-03-21) 21 March 1972 (age 48)
Alma materUnited World College of the Atlantic
University of Bristol
University College, London
Known forYoungest documented person to find hominoid fossil
ChildrenPrincess Seiyia de Mérode
Princess Alexia de Mérode
Scientific career
Princess Louise de Merode
Princess of Merode
IssuePrincess Seiyia
Princess Alexia
HouseMérode (by marriage)
FatherRichard Leakey
MotherMeave Epps

Princess Louise de Merode (née: Leakey, born 21 March 1972) is a Kenyan paleontologist and anthropologist. She conducts research and field work on human fossils in Eastern Africa.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Louise Leakey was born in Nairobi, Kenya, to Kenyan paleoantropologist, conservationist and politician Richard Leakey and British paleoanthropologist Meave Leakey in 1972, the same year that her paleoanthropologist grandfather, Louis Leakey, died. She first became actively involved in fossil discoveries in 1977, when at the age of five she became the youngest documented person to find a hominoid fossil.[2]

Leakey earned her International Baccalaureate from United World College of the Atlantic and a Bachelor of Science degree in geology and biology from the University of Bristol. She earned a PhD from the University College, London[3] in 2001.


In 1993, Leakey joined her mother as a co-leader of paleontological expeditions in northern Kenya. The Koobi Fora research project has been the main program behind some of the most notable hominid fossil discoveries of the past two decades, the most recent being Kenyanthropus platyops.[1]

Leakey has promoted an initiative to place digital models of fossil collections in a virtual laboratory, African Fossils, where models can be downloaded, 3D printed or cut in cardboard for reassembly.[4]

Personal life[edit]

In 2003, Leakey married Prince Emmanuel de Merode, a Belgian primatologist. She is styled princesse de Merode by marriage. The couple has two daughters:[5]

  • Princess Seiyia de Merode; born in 2004
  • Princess Alexia de Merode; born in 2006.[6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Mitchell, Ryan (November 2003). "Anthropologist Louise Leakey carries 'family banner'". Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  2. ^ Pearson, Stephanie (2003-12). "Louise Leakey" in "XX Factor". Outside Magazine, December 2003.
  3. ^ "Bios: Louise Leakey". Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Autodesk & Dr. Louise Leakey Share 3.3-Million-Year-Old Stone Tools with the World via 3D Printing | 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing". 3dprint.com. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  5. ^ "Who tried to kill the man who protects the Congo gorillas?". The Independent. 2014-04-20. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  6. ^ Bowman-Kruhm, Mary (2005). The Leakeys: A Biography. ISBN 0-313-32985-0

External links[edit]