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The Shelley R. Saunders Biological Anthropology Teaching Lab

MA Anthropology intro

The Shelley R. Saunders Biological Anthropology Teaching Lab

Houses the department’s comprehensive teaching collection with an emphasis on human skeletal biology, paleopathology and human evolution. This lab accommodates all lab-based courses in physical anthropology, ensuring that students studying the human skeleton have access to all the required equipment and anatomical specimens. It is also equipped with state-of-the art audio visual aids to facilitate teaching and student presentations.


The courses and research projects represent a biocultural approach to understanding the human condition. Teaching themes examine the study of human diversity, biological history and human evolution, and the biocultural factors that have shaped human biology and population both in the present and the past.

Biological Anthropology Resources and Equipment

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Teaching Skeletons

Students in the 2nd year course, ANTH 2FF3 learn human skeletal anatomy through the analysis and study of authentic human skeletons. The lab houses a complete set of nine individual skeletons as well as isolated skeletal elements from archaeological and forensic contexts.

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Fossil Cast Collection

The lab curates approximately 280 different fossil casts of extinct hominids which allow students to study the skeletal and biological variation in early human ancestors and extinct hominids.

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Paleopathological Collection

There are 80 different paleopathological and pathological specimens in the collection which are used by students in ANTH 3PP3 – Paleopathology. This collection allows students to visually identify the effects of specific disease, conditions and trauma that the human skeleton records.

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The teaching lab is equipped with the necessary equipment to perform a range of analytical tests and osteometric analysis. Instrumentation includes osteometric boards, calipers, spreading calipers, as well as a set of Hillson-Fitzgerald Dental calipers. There are both compound and stereo microscopes that are used for both teaching and research.

For questions regarding the Shelley R. Saunders Biological Anthropology Teaching Lab contact:

Bonnie Kahlon, Undergraduate Lab Technician