Biological Anthropology

This department offers training in primate and human anatomy and evolution, primate behavior and ecology, human variation and ecology, and nutritional anthropology. Faculty research interests include:

  • primate health and disease ecology
  • general ecology
  • conservation biology
  • primate evolution
  • early hominin paleoecology
  • human reproductive and nutritional ecology
  • skeletal biology of Medieval Nubians
  • biogeochemical techniques for studying the diets and habitats of modern and fossil fauna

As biological anthropologists, we are well positioned to analyze the impact of globalization on the interaction between biology and behavior, including changes in fertility and mortality rates, nutritional status and disease prevalence. We are also well positioned to analyze human and primate adaptations to changing environments and declining biodiversity.

Faculty Profiles

Bert Covert
Professor Covert focuses on the behavioral ecology and conservation of endangered Vietnamese primates of Southeast Asia.
Darna Dufour
Biological and behavioral responses of human populations to nutritional problems with special emphasis on responses to food shortages and the presence of toxins in foods.
Matt Sponheimer
Matt Sponheimer does research on the ecology of early hominins and living and fossil mammals, both large and small, from the African continent.
Michelle Sauther
Professor Sauther’s major focus of research is to better understand how both immediate and long term environmental factors interact with inter-individual variation to affect primate behavior and biology.
Robin Bernstein
Robin Bernstein’s research combines field and laboratory methods to investigate human growth and development, and how nutrition, disease, and environmental factors shape growth patterns in infants and children.
Steven Leigh
Leigh's research focuses on human and primate evolution and integrates many different kinds of data across the discipline of anthropology, including information from genetics, anatomy, archaeology and socio-cultural anthropology.