(c) Yann Combe


Email :

Skype : australopithecusafricanus / Instagram : jose_braga_kromdraai

Researcher ID A-4025-2010
Orcid ID : 0000-0002-8483-076X


José Braga boasts a large educational background, having earned degrees in Geology (1988), Evolutionary Biology (1995, PhD), and Medical Imaging (1998). His research approach seamlessly melds cutting-edge methodologies with meticulous fieldwork in South Africa that serves as a time capsule, offering glimpses into a period approximately 20,000 to 25,000 centuries ago when our human ancestors distinctively evolved along the timeline of evolution. Specifically, he delves into the pivotal roles played by evolutionary developmental (evo-devo) processes in the evolutionary divergence of our earliest human ancestors (genus Homo) and their close relatives known as paranthropines (genus Paranthropus), dating back over two million years in Africa.

Throughout his career, José Braga has taken the helm or actively participated in paleontological and archaeological expeditions across Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, and South Africa, starting in 1997. His explorations have also taken him to Ethiopia in 1996 and Mongolia in 2010. Since 2002, he has led extensive archaeological excavations at the renowned UNESCO Plio-Pleistocene site of Kromdraai in South Africa. These excavations have unveiled early hominin remains, coexisting with hundreds of other species, spanning mammals, birds, and reptiles.

José Braga’s academic journey includes his initial appointment as a permanent Associate Professor at the University Bordeaux 1 from 1998 to 2006. Subsequently, in 2006, he became full Professor at the University Paul Sabatier in Toulouse. He secured prestigious EU research and educational programs spanning from 2014 to 2018. Furthermore, José Braga has consistently lent his expertise to various academic and research committees in France, commencing in 2004, and has been member of executive boards since 2021.

Selected Invited Seminars

  • Pontifica Academia Scientiarum, Vatican City (April 2019).   
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium (Invited Professor, December 2018).
  • Collège de France, Paris, France (June 2003, July 2018, June 2023).
  • Stony Brook University, USA, International Conference Paying Tribute to Richard E. Leakey (June 2023)

Selected Publications

  • Braga, J., Wood, B.A., Zimmer, V.A., Moreno, B., Miller, C., Thackeray, J.F., Zipfel, B. Grine, F.E. 2023. Hominin fossils from Kromdraai and Drimolen inform Paranthropus robustus craniofacial ontogeny. Science Advances 9, eade7165.
  • Braga, J., Samir, C., Fradi, A., Feunteun, Y., Jakata, K., Zimmer, V.A., Zipfel, B., Thackeray, J.F., Macé, M., Wood, B.A., Grine, F.E. 2021. Cochlear shape distinguishes southern African early hominin taxa with unique auditory ecologies. Scientific Reports 11, 17018. 
  • Martin, J., Tacail, T., Braga, J., Cerling, T.E., Balter, V., 2020. Calcium isotopic ecology of Turkana Basin hominins. Nature Communications. 11, 3587 
  • Braga J, Samir C, Risser L, Dumoncel J, Descouens D, Thackeray JF, Balaresque P, Oettle A, Loubes J-M, Fradi A 2019. Cochlear shape reveals that the human organ of hearing is sex-typed from birth. Scientific Reports 9, 10889.
  • Balter V, Braga J, Télouk P, Thackeray F, 2012. Evidence for dietary change but not landscape use in South African early hominins. Nature 489, 558-560.

Selected books and chapters

  • Braga J. 2021. Humains : une histoire d’abord africaine. In Homo faber. Deux Millions d’Années d’Histoire de la Pierre Taillée. De l’Afrique aux Portes de l’Europe. 44-49 (Ed. Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Paris).
  • Braga J., Cohen C., Maureille B., Teyssandier N. 2016. Evolution Humaine. Les nouveaux scénarios. Ville Brûle Eds. 224 pages.
  • Braga J., Thackeray JF. (Eds) 2016 Kromdraai, A Birthplace of Paranthropus in the Cradle of Humankind. Sun Media, Johannesburg. 250 pages.
  • Crubézy E, Braga J, Larrouy G 2008. Anthropobiologie. Abrégés de Médecine. Paris : Editions Masson, 2° Edition, 339 pages.


  • Documentary (France 5) (2021, 2023) Science Grand Format. Kromdraai. A la découverte des premiers humains.
  • France Culture (2023) La Science CQFD.
  • Le Monde ( › Sciences) (2019)
  • France Inter (2018, 2016) La tête au carré