What is Biological Anthropology?

Biological anthropology is the study of the past and present evolution of the human species and is especially concerned with understanding the causes of present human diversity. Within this broad definition it encompasses fields as disparate as human palaeontology, evolutionary biology, human genetics, comparative anatomy and physiology, primate behaviour, and human behavioural ecology.


Bio Anthro @ Wayne

Dr. Julie Lesnik advises students interested in biological anthropology. She is most known for her research on the role of insects as food over the course of human evolution, but she is also involved in bioarchaeological projects in Peru and in the Czech Republic.  Most of Dr. Lesnik's projects involve some aspect of reconstructing past diets and utliize a rang of methods including collaborations on stable isotope analyses and genetic sequencing related to the gut microbiome.

Graduate students in biological anthropology at Wayne State University have many interdisciplinary resources in other departments to explore their research questions. For research topics in genetics, previous students have applied external laboratory rotations and courses such as Advanced Human Genetics, Genomics, and Molecular Anthropology to developing an appropriate theoretical and practical background. By taking these courses through the Biology Department or School of Medicine, our anthropology graduate students bring fresh perspective to understanding the evolutionary genetics of humans.  

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