ANTHRBIO 201 – Introduction to Biological Anthropology: This course examines the processes that have shaped human evolution. The ﬁrst unit covers the basic principles of evolutionary biology, and includes overviews of adaptation, natural selection and genetics. The second unit focuses on the ecology and behavior of nonhuman primates, and considers how a comparative approach may help us to understand human evolution. Unit three explores the fossil record, and how the study of human paleontology and prehistory informs our understanding of modern humans. Finally, in unit four, we focus on humans in modern contexts and consider the biological bases of some aspects of human behavior and evolution.
ANTHRBIO 364 – Nutrition and Evolution: This course traces the evolution of human nutrition and considers how recent changes in diet, exercise, reproduction, and lifespan affect our fitness in the modern world. Modern humans often live in environments that differ fundamentally from the environment in which we evolved, with both positive and negative consequences for health. Lectures will review 1) the basic physiology of human nutrition, 2) human diet in the context of other primates and our hominin ancestors, 3) consequences of under- and overnutrition, and 4) special topics including reproduction, lifespan, and the recent obesity epidemic.
ANTHRBIO 462 – Human Growth and Development Across the Life Cycle: This course tracks the human life cycle from beginning to end, with comparison to other primates including earlier hominins. The goal is to understand how human growth and development came to be, and how it is being shaped by the modern environment. The first part of the course is an overview of life history as it relates to somatic growth and development. The next unit traces human growth and development from gametes through birth, including discussions of 1) prenatal growth, perinatal developmental programming, maternal-fetal conflict, and the evolution of human birth; 2) postnatal growth and development, including the evolution of childhood, puberty and reproduction, and secular trends in both skeletal and reproductive maturation; and 3) adulthood and aging, including fertility and lifespan. The final unit covers human adaptation to environmental factors, including climate, stress, and nutrition.
ANTHRBIO 471 – Research in Biological Anthropology: This course provides technical training in how to carry out research in Biological Anthropology focused on skeletal biology. The course will emphasize project development, hypothesis generation and testing, data collection and analysis, and writing. Students will learn techniques for quantifying bone growth and bone strength, such as microcomputed tomography, bone mineral densitometry, histology and histomorphometry.
ANTHRBIO 664 – Problems in Nutrition, Growth, and Aging: In this course we will focus on understanding the basics of human bone biology, including the cellular and endocrine mechanisms that regulate bone growth and development, and the ways that environmental factors such as mechanical loading can increase bone strength. Class meetings will consist of discussion of key papers and hands-on demonstrations of techniques used to quantify bone mass and bone strength and to image bone structure. After learning these techniques, students will work on ongoing projects, analyze data and collaborate to write a paper for future publication.
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