Phillip V. Tobias

Phillip V. Tobias

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Phillip V. Tobias

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Phillip Vallentine Tobias (born on 14 October 1925 in Durban, Natal) is a South African palaeoanthropologist and Professor Emeritus at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He is best known for his pioneering work at South Africa's famous hominid fossil sites, and is one of the world's leading authorities on the evolution of humankind.

Academic life

Born in Durban, Natal on 14 October 1925, the only son and second child of Joseph Newman Tobias and Fanny Rosendorff, Phillip received his first schooling in Bloemfontein and Durban. In 1945, he started his career as demonstrator in histology and instructor in physiology at the University of Witwatersrand. He received his B.Sc.(Hons) in Histology and Physiology in 1946-1947 and graduated in Medicine, M.B., B.Ch in 1950. He was appointed as a lecturer in anatomy in 1951. In 1953, he received his Ph.D. for a thesis entitled Chromosomes, Sex-Cells, and Evolution in the Gerbil.

In 1955, Tobias started his post-graduate research at Cambridge University, England, where he filled the position of Nuffield Dominion Senior Traveling Fellow in physical anthropology. The following year, at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the University of Chicago, he was the Rockefeller Traveling Fellow in anthropology, human genetics, and dental anatomy and growth. In 1959, he became Professor and Head of the Department of Anatomy and Human Biology, succeeding his mentor and eminent scholar, Professor Raymond Dart. In 1967, he...
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