It is an almost impossible task to fit the achievements of this young female scientist into one article.
Interviewed by top international media houses and on radio shows in countries across the globe, not only is her work considered ground-breaking, but she is also an activist for women in STEM.
She obtained a PhD thesis in 2015 at the University of Toulouse Paul Sabatier in France and various post-doctoral positions in South Africa, as well as a position of lecturer at the University of Cambridge, UK in 2020.
Her dissemination articles in French and English had, with the help of the latest technology, allowed scientists their first glimpse of the intricate details of Little Foot’s life, with Dr Beaudet as a leading author and Principal Investigator while at the Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge (UK) and honorary research fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand. Other insights from her research included, among various others, papers on:
- A tiny bone from Little Foot’s skeleton adds fresh insights into our ancestors
- Virtual images reveal secrets of an ancient fossil’s brain and inner ear
Her newsletter focused on the Pliocene Hominid Cranium from Sterkfontein Cave in South Africa and since 2016 she is the scientific expert at the “Cradle of Humankind” at Maropeng, South Africa on human evolution.
Vocal activist for Women in Science
During her various television, radio and newspaper interviews, Dr Beaudet was quoted as saying that “science is one of the most prejudiced disciplines in this binary world and that women need to know that science is for everyone and that not being a man shouldn’t be considered an obstacle to their ambitions and aspirations.” Her criticism is especially relevant to the African continent, where women scientists are often effectively written out of history.
She is adamant that palaeontology suffers from substantial conventional sex-related bias, despite the fact that women are part of the discipline’s history and have made major discoveries. Dr Beaudet said that young girls and women who wish to enter the scientific arena, should, as Mary Angelou said, “do the best you can and when you know better, improve on it” (loosely translated.)
Dr Amélie Beaudet has since joined the Université de Poitiere’s PALEVOPRIM lab on March 1st 2023 as a Junior Professor. She had been selected for this prestigious fellowship as a skilled specialist in the evolution of African Plio-Pleistocene hominins and will continue with her work of untangling our human origins.