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Anthropology Graduate Program / Biological Anthropology

Biological Anthropology

Biological Anthropology at the University of Kentucky

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, biological students at UK are provided a unique opportunity to engage in cross-subdisciplinary work.

Students will be advised by any of the four professors listed below 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. Biological anthropology students take a variety of courses in biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and archaeology. This includes courses in medical 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. 




  • Celise Chilcote-Fricker
    Bioarchaeology, NAGPRA, Mesoamerica, Lower Central America, identity, embodiment of social processes
  • Julia Ravenscroft
    Biocultural anthropology, health disparities, developmental origins of disease, diet-toxicant interactions, indigenous peoples and environmental justice, community-based participatory research. 
  • Hugo Reyes-Centeno
    Evolutionary mechanisms that produce the anatomy of humans today and in the past. Heritage conservation, digital research, teeth, bioarchaeology
  • Heather A. WorneBioarchaeology, paleopathology, epidemiological transitions, Southeastern North American archaeology, forensic anthropology, biocultural anthropology, taphonomy

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
  • Paleopathology
  • 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

For more information on the concentration in Medical Anthropology at UK, please visit the Medical Anthropology webpage!