Department of


Collectively, we study human diversity across time and space. As a discipline, Anthropology attempts to understand the human past, present, and future using tools and techniques from the sub-fields of sociocultural anthropology, biological anthropology, and archaeology. We aim to educate students to address real-world problems through a combination of classroom learning, seminars, and hands-on field and laboratory research opportunities. This can include, for example, examining fossil casts or modern human bones, studying at the zoo or in villages in developing countries, and digging for artifacts in the field or just facts in the library.

Areas of Study

Our faculty pursues research in DNA analysis, GIS, disease diagnostics and other biomarkers, ecological anthropology, forensic anthropology, fossil excavation, modern Mayan cultures, Global and One Health, metabolism and energetics, child growth and development, immunology, and both historic and prehistoric archaeology.

Anthropology Field Work

Research sites include Central and Latin America, the Caribbean, West, East, and South Africa, near Eastern Mediterranean, and Texas. All of these projects offer excellent opportunities for students to participate in primary research working alongside their professors.

Why should I study anthropology?

You are human, what could be more rewarding than studying the origins and diversity of human biology and behavior? By studying Anthropology, you open the door to the opportunity to reflect on how and why different people and populations have developed similar and different characteristics in their biology and behaviors.

We create problem-solvers with excellent critical thinking and written/oral communication skills that employers desire. In Anthropology, we utilize a comparative approach between people/populations and among different species to understand the forces that have shaped their ways of life.

Interested in HEALTH? Anthropology is for you!

Interested in the ENVIRONMENT? Anthropology is for you!

Anthropology Faculty

The core faculty of the Department of Anthropology are from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds including: cultural, physical, applied, and forensic anthropology, archaeology, and forensic chemistry and biology. Research concentrations and specific projects are reflected in these backgrounds.

Sara E. Alexander, PhD Sara E. Alexander, PhD Professor and TIEEES Fellow Her current research centers on human responses to climate and other environmental changes. Katie M. Binetti, PhD Katie M. Binetti, PhD Senior Lecturer & Undergraduate Program Director She is a paleoanthropologist broadly interested in the role past environments have played in molding our species into the diverse and complex organisms that we are today. Garrett W. Cook, PhD Garrett W. Cook, PhD Professor He is a socio-cultural anthropologist and ethnographer, though I have also been trained in archaeology and have worked as a professional archaeologist and briefly as a museum director. Joseph V. Ferraro, PhD Joseph V. Ferraro, PhD Associate Professor & Director of the Institute of Archaeology He is an anthropologist with broad interests in the evolution of human biology. Mark V. Flinn, PhD Mark V. Flinn, PhD Professor Focusing on the nexus of stress and the family, he is a biomedical anthropologist who aims to understand how and why social relationships influence child health. Julie A. Hoggarth, PhD Julie A. Hoggarth, PhD Associate Professor Her research applies an interdisciplinary approach that integrates history, demography, archaeology, and climate research. James R. Huggins, MFS James R. Huggins, MFS Senior Lecturer He is a retired Texas Ranger interested in the identification and repatriation of undocumented border crossers in South Texas. Michael P. Muehlenbein, PhD, MsPH Michael P. Muehlenbein, PhD, MsPH Professor, Chair, & Graduate Program Director His work ranges from evolutionary medicine and ecological immunology (including hormone-mediated immunity) to global/One health and travel medicine (specifically preventing emerging infectious diseases from wild primates). Austin W. Reynolds, PhD Austin W. Reynolds, PhD Assistant Professor His work focuses on population genetics, computational genomics, ancient DNA, immunogenetics, bioinformatics, and medical genetics. Samuel S. Urlacher, PhD Samuel S. Urlacher, PhD Assistant Professor His work focuses on human evolutionary biology, aging, and health. He is particularly interested in how child nutrition and other early life experiences shape lifetime metabolic health. Jeffrey Gassen, PhD Jeffrey Gassen, PhD Postdoctoral Scholar His research involves utilizing theoretical insights from the evolutionary sciences and methodology from psychology, neuroscience, endocrinology, immunology, behavioral ecology, and related fields, to untangle complex, often bidirectional relationships between human biology and behavior. Cathryn M. Townsend, PhD Cathryn M. Townsend, PhD Postdoctoral Scholar Her current research centers on egalitarian political systems, and the relationship between cooperation and adversity. Colleen M. Zori, PhD Colleen M. Zori, PhD Affiliated Faculty
Baylor Interdisciplinary Core

State of The Art Facilities

In addition to extensive teaching laboratories that house a range of specimens and equipment, the Department has a number of research facilities, including our own extensive core facility for genomic and biomarker analyses, archaeology and zooarchaeology labs, an anatomy laboratory featuring a plastinated human cadaver, and areas for conducting forensic experiments.