The Department of Anthropology at UNLV offers a breadth of undergraduate and graduate coursework and provides support for field and lab research in bioarchaeology, forensic anthropology, human behavioral ecology, paleoanthropology, evolutionary theory, developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD), evolutionary psychology, functional anatomy, and biological and biocultural approaches to better understand human evolution and behavior. Faculty and students seek to investigate human diet, reproductive behavior, violence, sexual dimorphism, evolutionary constraints, and other life history features in evolutionary and socioecological context, using such tools as agent-based modeling, 3D geometric morphometrics, osteological analysis, biomarker testing, and dietary analysis.


Biological Anthropology faculty at UNLV includes Daniel C. Benyshek, Alyssa CrittendenDebra Martin, Brian Villmoare, and Jennifer Byrnes.

Research and Teaching

Faculty research and instruction are integrated through evolutionary and biocultural approaches to topics such as gender, diet, childhood, violence, parenting, paleopathology, health disparities, and human evolutionary trends among and between early hominins, early members of the genus Homo, and contemporary populations (both historic and extant).

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Field Work

In recent years, faculty and graduate students in Biological Anthropology at UNLV have worked in the U.S., Romania, Turkey, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Jamaica, St. Kitts, and Hong Kong. Current faculty direct long-term field projects in Northern Tanzania and the Afar Region of Ethiopia. The Department has active connections with the Clark County Coroner’s Office, Midwives Alliance of North America, and the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV.

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A woman digging up on a site


The Department maintains some human skeletal material, in addition to fossil hominin casts, as well as digital collections of human, primate, and fossil material.

To find out more information about the biological collections at UNLV, contact Dr. Debra Martin or Dr. Jennifer Byrnes.