Henry Feng, B.S. 2019

Medical Student, Sydney Medical School – Sydney (Australia)

2019 Major: Evolutionary Anthropology; minors in Biology and Chemistry

How has being an Evolutionary Anthropology graduate from Duke helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"Evolutionary anthropology is all about humankind's place in nature. Studying it at Duke has played a huge part in my personal growth. It's helped me refine and better understand what it means to be human. Because of this central question, anthropology also links well with the social sciences and humanities, offering a more holistic approach compared to other natural sciences. Even as I study medicine now, I still use evolutionary anthropology in many ways. For example, in evolutionary medicine, we think about 'defining pathology' or understanding how cancers 'evolve' or become suppressed in large-bodied animals (i.e. Peto's Paradox). In many ways, being an EvAnth grad has changed my life personally and professionally. Nowadays, I always look out for new books by Duke professors because I enjoy the topic so much and want to stay connected in a small way!"

What advice would you give students in Duke's Evolutionary Anthropology programs? 

"Get to know your professors and peers early on. It's a small but close community and everyone is passionate about the field! I also recommend taking classes across all 3 concentrations. I was initially set on the Anatomy & Paleoanthropology track but enjoyed the "Evolution, Cognition, and Society" capstone and similar courses so much that I switched to Behavior, Ecology and Cognition. I also recommended taking advantage of places like the Division of Fossil Primates and the Duke Lemur Center. If you're into fieldwork, there are plenty of field ecology and paleoanthropology opportunities in the summer. If you like research, there is plenty of work on campus from canine cognition to comparative developmental psychology to primate morphology."

Henry Feng