Biomedical and Human Evolution Research and Teaching Lab

The Biomedical and Human Evolution laboratory facility, located in room 4 Annex C, contains the department’s teaching collection of hominid and primate crania and postcrania, as well as our basic genetic analyses equipment. The lab is used to teach students about the morphological and functional evolution of the human species through time and space. By studying the skull casts and primate samples, students can contrast and compare between groups of our closest extinct and living relatives. Another way of studying the human species is by looking at our closest living relatives, therefore we also offer primatology instruction in this lab facility. This lab is also used to study the human ecological impact and culture in relation to health issues. Here students learn about the field of medical anthropology and the applications of understanding complex health issues, as well as the field of anthropological genetics in population, health, and archaic contexts.

The Biomedical and Human Evolution lab is equipped with genetic analysis kits for biological oriented classes such as anthropological genetics and basic osteological measurement tools such as an osteometric board, spreading and sliding calipers. The morphological evolutionary changes of our species can be observed in the skull cast collection, containing over 30 hominid specimens of varying species through time. In addition to several fossil species, there are skull casts of orangutans, baboons, gorillas and chimpanzees, as well as a real old world monkey skeleton. For comparative analysis there is also a fully articulated human skeleton. Additionally, the lab is equipped with a reference collection of textbooks and works related to medical anthropology, human osteology, and human evolution.