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Physical anthropology at the Graduate Center covers a wide range of topics, with a strong emphasis on evolutionary approaches to understanding human and nonhuman primate biology. Current research involves several main areas: the comparative/functional morphology, paleontology, 3D morphometrics (& scientific visualization), biogeography, evolution and systematics of humans and other “higher” primates (apes and monkeys); primate origins and dental-dietary adaptations of Euarchonta (primates and relatives such as treeshrews and "flying lemurs"); primate social behavior and ecology (including nutrition), and relationships to conservation problems; the biology of modern humans, including adaptation, bioarchaeology, osteology, and forensic anthropology; and craniofacial development and comparative anatomy.

The subfield has played a leading role in creating the New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology (NYCEP), and a number of special courses in this program are jointly taught by CUNY, New York University, and Columbia faculty. Active laboratories in physical anthropology are located at Hunter College (human and primate genetics, primate nutrition), Queens College (osteology and bioarchaeology), Brooklyn College (paleontology and high-resolution laser scanning), and Lehman College (osteology/forensics, human genetics and  and 3D "solid printing" of computer-visualized imagery). Other labs directed by CUNY faculty are located at the American Museum of Natural History (three dimensional geometric morphometrics and computer visualization) and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine (comparative morphology of the head and neck and speech origins).

CUNY faculty members have field projects under way in bioarcheology, paleontology, population genetics,and primate and human ecology in China, India, Yemen, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, the United States, and South America.


Subfield Coordinator for Physical Anthropology

Eric Delson

Lehman College, Davis Hall

Phone: 718-960-8405