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Biological Anthropology


Program Description

Biological Anthropology aims to understand the origins, evolution, organizational complexity, and socioecology of human and nonhuman primate societies. We explore primate evolution at different levels, ranging from the molecular (genomes and cells) to the socioecological (social groups, societies, and environment). We make use of cutting-edge molecular techniques to examine diversity beyond the genome (e.g. epigenomes, glycans, stem cells, and neuronal diversity), and we also have a special focus on the relationship between socioecology and the neural substrates of complex behavior in primates. We apply behavioral and ecological data from wild baboons to understand the process of adaptation. This changes the questions we ask about the evolution of the human pattern and is particularly relevant in the fast changing environments of the Anthropocene.

All biological anthropology faculty are involved in UCSD’s Center for Advanced Research and Training in Anthropogeny (the investigation of the origin of humans) or CARTA. Each faculty member also has individual research areas outside our core group.