Biological Anthropology

Mona monkey

Biological anthropology investigates human and nonhuman primate biology and evolution by studying biology (especially the skeleton), evolutionary theory, inheritance, the fossil record, and living primates. It looks at interrelationships between behavior, ecology, and biology.

Biological anthropologists study human biology and evolution and work in very diverse fields. One field, primatology, studies nonhuman primates (including lemurs, monkeys, and apes) to learn about their behavior and evolution, to place human evolution in context, and to aid conservation efforts. Paleoanthropologists study the fossil record of humans and other bipedal primates (“hominins”) like Neanderthals and “Lucy” to understand how humans evolved. Forensic anthropologists apply their knowledge of anatomy to help analyze human skeletal remains and work in medical and legal fields. Forensic anthropologists also work internationally in human rights cases, helping to give justice to the victims and closure to their families. Evolutionary medicine seeks to answer questions about why we get the diseases we get, what health issues are more common in certain areas, and what health, nutritional, medical strategies are used in different cultures.

Courses in Biological Anthropology

  • ANTH 305: Human Evoluionary Health
  • ANTH 330: Method & Theory in Biological Anthropology
  • ANTH 331: Paleoanthropology
  • ANTH 332: Skeletal Biology & Forensics
  • ANTH 333: Primate Evolution & Adaptation
  • ANTH 334: Anthropology, Ecology & Conservation
  • ANTH 335: Topics in Evolutionary Medicine
  • ANTH 339: Special Topics in Biological Anthropology
  • ANTH 637: Applied Biological Anthropology
  • See the catalog for course descriptions

Medieval Bioarchaeology Program in Poland

The Medieval Bioarchaeology Field Program in Poland is a unique opportunity to excavate and analyze remains from a medieval cemetery in Poland. Click on the link above to learn more about the site and program!

Biological Anthropology Research Center

The Biological Anthropology Research Center is dedicated to providing training and research opportunities in evolutionary and applied biological anthropology. Current focus areas include comparative anatomy, bioacoustics and communication, primate conservation, evolutionary medicine & nutrition, bioarchaeology, and forensic anthropology.