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Spencer Wells is a geneticist and anthropologist whose work helped establish Central Asia's critical role in the dispersion of humans around the planet. Named a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence in 2005, Wells directs the Genographic Project, an effort to collect DNA samples from around the world in order to better understand human migration over the last 50,000 years. He is the author of The Journey of Man, a book and documentary that concludes that all living humans descended from a single African man, and Deep Ancestry, a look at genetic anthropology.

Portrait by Julian Dufort

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