Faculty Profile

Karen Weinstein

Professor of Anthropology (2001)

Contact Information


Denny Hall Room 215


Human variation and adaptation, human osteology, human evolution with an emphasis on the evolution of body size and shape and postcranial anatomy in genus Homo, comparative primate skeletal biology, nutritional anthropology


  • B.A., Washington University, 1991
  • M.A., University of Illinois at Chicago, 1994
  • Ph.D., University of Florida, 2001

2016-2017 Academic Year

Fall 2016

ANTH 100 Intro to Biological Anthro
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of biological anthropology. We will examine the development of evolutionary theory. We will then apply evolutionary theory to understand principles of inheritance, familial and population genetics in humans, human biological diversity and adaptations to different environments, behavioral and ecological diversity in nonhuman primates, and the analysis of the human skeleton and fossil record to understand the origin and evolution of the human family. Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week. Offered three semesters over a two-year period.

ANTH 310 Nutritional Anthropology
Food is a biological necessity, yet food preferences and dietary practices are culturally determined and highly variable across time and space. This course examines nutrition and dietary variation from an anthropological perspective. We will first study the basics of food and nutrition, including the nutritional composition of food, nutritional requirements across the human life cycle, and standards for assessing dietary quality in individuals and populations. We will then examine the evolution of human dietary practices and we will explore how dietary variation is at the interface of biology, health, culture, and the environment. We will also learn about the effects of globalization and the commoditization of food on dietary choices, the health consequences of under- and over-nutrition, and the social and historical constraints on food production and consumption in different societies. Prerequisite: At least one course in anthropology or health studies, or permission of instructor.

Spring 2017

ANTH 225 Human Osteology
This course offers an intensive examination of human biological diversity as revealed through the study of human skeletal remains. We will focus on techniques used to identify skeletal remains in archaeological, paleontological, and forensic contexts, as well as examining human skeletal responses to environmental stress and human growth and development throughout the life cycle. Prerequisite: 100 or 229 or permission of the instructor. Offered every other year.

ANTH 331 Principles of Human Evolution
This course offers an intensive examination of the evolution of the human family, from our earliest ancestors to the origin and dispersal of modern humans. We use skeletal biology, geology, and archaeology to understand the human evolutionary record. Prerequisite: Any of the following: 100, 216, 218, 229 or BIOL 100-level course. Offered every spring.