About Evolutionary Anthropology

Evolutionary anthropology is the study of humankind's place in nature. The central questions of this unique discipline revolve around how humans arose from our primate ancestors, how our distinctive attributes – such as enhanced cognitive abilities, striding bipedal locomotion, and our extraordinary connections with culture and technology – came to be, and why, from an evolutionary perspective, we behave the way we do.

Our focus on these questions connects us with our colleagues in the other natural and social sciences and in the humanities – with everyone who is working at some level on what it means to be human. To address questions of human nature and human evolution, biological anthropology focuses on morphology, physiology, behavior and cognition of humans and non-human primates, as viewed from an evolutionary perspective. Central areas of research include the phylogenetic relationships among living and extinct groups of primates, the functional and adaptive significance of morphological variation in primates and humans, and the socioecological underpinnings of behavioral variation in humans and other animals.