Colleagues, family and friends gathered at the University of Wollongong at the weekend to farewell the late Professor Mike Morwood, whose passion for research led to what has been dubbed the "scientific find of the century".
Prof Morwood as instrumental in discovering an ancient, dwarf-like species of pre-humans, known as "hobbit", on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003.
He died in July at the age of 62 after being diagnosed with terminal cancer a little over a year ago.
Prof Morwood's colleague and mentor, Emeritus Professor John Mulvaney, supervised Prof Morwood while he was undertaking his PhD in Queensland in the 1970s.
He described his friend as a "quietly spoken man" who was industrious and innovative.
"To supervise, he was the ideal student; he wasn't challenging me that I had outdated views like some students did," Prof Mulvaney recalled fondly at Saturday's memorial.
"I always got the impression he was grateful for what you did for him."
Prof Mulvaney said while most people would remember Prof Morwood or his discovery in Indonesia, he should also be acknowledged for his prior work in Australia.
"His thesis work synthesised the archaeology of Aboriginal occupation in the greater part of Queensland," Prof Mulvaney said.
"He was very industrious and quite innovative in what he did.
"His premature death has certainly brought to a close a very brilliant career."
Prof Morwood's daughter, Catherine Morwood, also spoke at the memorial service, saying her father would have been honoured that the who's who of archaeological academics from around the world had turned out the farewell him.
"When I look around at all the names, there's only one missing, and that's Mike," she said.
"He would have loved to have been here to see you all."
UOW vice-chancellor Paul Wellings described Prof Morwood as "the star" of the university's archaeological unit, but said his colleagues would carry on his work into the future.
"His research will continue," Prof Wellings said.