Undergraduate Courses

The Human Machine - ANTH 324

This course focuses on how the human body works.  We will examine human anatomy and biomechanics, with a strong focus on evolutionary perspectives.  Each class will examine how humans perform a different everyday activity.  Activities the course will cover include walking, running, grasping, throwing, chewing, speaking, breathing, and sensory perception.  Additionally, we will explore how and why human anatomy evolved to perform these functions.  The unique combination of studying anatomy and evolution together allows us to understand not only how the human body works, but why it works the way it does.  We will draw together information from human and nonhuman mammalian anatomy, biomechanics, engineering, physiology, and paleoanthropology to accomplish these goals.

Paleoanthropology - ANTH 466/566 (also taught at graduate level)

This course examines the evidence for the origin and evolution of humans with particular emphasis placed on reconstructing the paleobiology of extinct hominids.  Lectures will draw upon a diverse range of disciplines (anatomy, behavior, biomechanics, genetics, geology, paleontology) and integrate these into a framework for understanding the history of this unusual group of primates.  The laboratories provide the student with an opportunity to examine firsthand the fossil evidence for human evolution.

The Primate Skeleton - ANTH 401/501 (also taught at graduate level)

This course is an exploration of the relationship between primate anatomical form and function.  The course is designed to demonstrate how the primate body form is adapted to its many functions, with an emphasis on adaptations to diet and locomotion. 

Human Evolution - ANTH 265

This course provides students with a basic introduction to the facts, skills and concepts needed to understand human evolution.  Topics covered include the history of evolutionary biology, human osteology, primatology, functional anatomy, and the human fossil record.  This course provides a springboard to subsequent classes in Biological Anthropology and Human Biology.

Experimental Methods in Biological Anthropology - ANTH 495D

This class focuses on research methods in biological anthropology.  You will learn how to use experimental equipment, design research projects, collect and analyze data, and present your results.  You will form groups of 4-5 and work on one of three projects throughout the semester.  As a group, you will design experiments to test specific hypotheses about the evolution of the human locomotor system.  Your grade will be based on your participation in all aspects of the project.

Graduate Courses

Introduction to Human Evolutionary Biology - ANTH 504

The objective of this course is to provide a broad introduction to human evolutionary biology at the graduate level.  This course will consist of a combination of lectures, discussions and student presentations, and will cover major topics in biological anthropology. Topics covered will include evolutionary theory, anatomical, behavioral and genetic diversity among primates, human variation and adaptation, the human and nonhuman primate fossil record, and human biology. The goal of the course is to give you an overview of the field, while allowing you to identify areas of research you might want to pursue at the masters and doctoral levels.

Why Human Evolution Matters - ANTH 595D

This objective of this course is to discuss the relevance of human evolution to issues relevant to modern human society today. In this context, we examine questions like: What are the anthropological contributions to an evolutionary medicine approach and and what can anthropology add to our understanding of human health? Are living hunter gatherers good analogs for health in the ancient past? Can an evolutionary approach to health lead to clinical applications? Through readings and discussion, we aim to link human evolutionary biology to modern day health and well being.

Biomechanics of Language and Gesture - ANTH 595D

This class is co-taught with Dr. Norma Mendoza-Denton (Linguist Anthropologist). The objective of this course is to give graduate students across the subdisciplines of Anthropology experience in experimental methods. Students learn about experimental design and then implement their own experiments throughout the course.