The primary focus of biological anthropology at UK is the human/environment interaction as it shapes population and individual well-being across space and through time. From this biocultural perspective we envision the adaptive environment inclusive of its natural, social, and cultural aspects. Students in biological anthropology will combine theory and method from biological, cultural, and archaeological anthropology to investigate questions of human wellbeing in contemporary, historic and prehistoric populations as evidenced through health and/or nutrition outcomes. Because scholarly interests of UK faculty coalesce around current themes in anthropology and the social sciences (see Departmental Research Themes), biological students at UK are provided a unique opportunity to engage in cross-subdisciplinary work. Students will be advised by Dr. Deborah L. Crooks and/or Dr. Heather Worne, but will also work closely with cultural anthropology and archaeology faculty in the Department of Anthropology and in units and departments across the UK campus.
Deborah Crooks measuring a child in Zambia, December, 2005.
Crooks's current research investigates the relationship between household livelihood strategies and nutritional outcomes in rural Zambia; planned research will investigate the relationship between food security and mental health outcomes in Zambia and South Africa.
Dr. Worne’s current research focuses on the interrelationships among warfare, settlement choice and community health in late prehistoric populations from the Middle Cumberland region of Tennessee.
Our students are currently working on research projects that investigate the relationship between consumerism and child growth outcomes in context of a shifting political economy in Ireland; best practices to facilitate more healthful diet and activity patterns in communities in eastern Kentucky; modern and traditional diets among native Alaskan populations; and the health of an historic, institutional population in Lexington, KY.
Biological students take a variety of courses in biological, cultural and archaeological anthropology. They may also take courses that suit their scholarly interests in other departments and units across campus, e.g., Geography, History, and Public Health.
Required and suggested (elective) coursework:
- History of Theory in Anthropology
- Theory and Concepts in Anthropology
- Human Biology in a Changing World
- Anthropology of Food and Nutrition
- Human Osteology
- History of Disease
- Archaeological Theory and Methods
- Social Organization
- Sociocultural Dimensions of Economic Development
- Anthropology and Epidemiology
- Global Health
- Research Design
- Seminar in Applied Anthropology
- Seminar in Ecological Anthropology
- Seminar in Economic Anthropology
- Culture, Anthropology and Development
- Advanced Seminar in Medical Anthropology
- Gender, Ethnicity and Health
- Livelihoods and Food Security