Undergraduate courses

Introduction to Anthropology: Becoming Human (ANTA01)

A beginner level course in Evolutionary Anthropology and Archaeology, aimed at students with no background in either field.  Most of the course consists of a survey of human prehistory, from the first clear human relatives in the fossil record, to the establishment of the earliest cities.  Students attend weekly lectures and participate in biweekly laboratory exercises.

The Foundation and Theory of Human Origins (ANTC16)

This course covers topics of current debate in the study of human origins and evolution.  Classes consist of a combination of lectures, and group presentations by students on opposing sides of a topic of debate.  Some topics that may be covered include competing explanations for human large brain size, the evolutionary basis of menopause, and whether or not neandertals could use language.

Human Origins: New Discoveries (ANTC17)

The focus in this course is on the material evidence for human evolution, i.e., what does the fossil record actually tells us about our most recent ancestors and close cousins?  All species of hominins are surveyed, from the first purported hominins in the late Miocene to the earliest occurrences of anatomically modern Homo sapiens.  This perspective is enhanced by hands on laboratories based around modern human and non-human primate skeletal material and fossil casts.

Primate Evolution (ANTC99)

This course focuses on the adaptations and evolution of the Order Primates.  The first section of the course examines modern primate anatomy and adaptations, with an eye to the types of data that can be reconstructed from fossils.  The second, longer section of the course covers the evolution of the primates from the earliest representatives of the order to the ancestors of modern groups.  Lectures are enhanced with hands on laboratory exercises based on skeletal material from modern non-human primates and casts of fossil primates.

Advanced Topics in Primate Evolution (ANTD99)

This is a seminar style course that examines questions of particular controversy in the study of primate evolution, such as approaches to recognizing species in the primate fossil record, the location of origin of the New World monkeys, and explanations for the evolution of trichromatic vision in some primate groups.  The emphasis is on critical reading of the primary literature through a combination of lectures, student presentations, and discussion.

Graduate courses

Advanced Topics in Non-Human Primate Evolution (ANT3045)

This course focuses on the adaptations and evolution of the Order Primates, based largely on the fossil record. Although some attempt is made to survey the primate fossil record from the Paleocene to the Pleistocene, emphasis is placed on topics of particular debate, including for example the hypotheses surrounding the origins of Primates, the systematic position of Darwinius masillae and its relevance (or lack thereof) to the question of anthropoid origins, and the place of origin of New World monkeys.  While the evolutionary history of most extant groups of primates is covered, the evolution of humans is excluded from the course.

Paleoecology in Primate and Human Evolution (ANT3046)

Paleoecology is the study of the relationship between animals and their environment in the past.  This course will consider the problem of reconstructing ecological variables relevant to extinct primates, including humans.  The first half of the course examines different methodologies for reconstructing ecological variables in the Cenozoic (last 65 million years).  Topics may include stable isotope analysis, sampling issues, and reconstructing autecological variables such as diet and locomotion.  The second half of the course focuses on particular localities that have been studied using a variety of methods as case studies.  The format of the course includes seminar style discussions, student presentations, and some lecturing.