- Code BIAN2119
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject Biological Anthropology
- Areas of interest Anthropology, Biological Anthropology
Our species has a capacity for flexible biological response to environmental conditions within a lifetime, as well as specific adaptations acquired over the long span of evolution. Pre-industrial human populations, sharing a similar range of physiological capacities, succeeded in occupying much of the globe and a wide diversity of environments. This course examines this adaptability and its limits in an anthropological context, with particular attention to nutrition, the physical environment, and disease. The main sections of the course will be: on nutritional ecology, discussing the adequacy of the diet (especially in energy and protein) for health and growth, and environmental and social influences on nutrition; on environmental physiology, especially responses to physical factors (e.g. climate), also psychosocial factors (e.g. stress); on disease ecology, contrasting patterns of disease occurrence in traditional and developing societies with those in developed societies, and considering the processes involved in selected cases; and finally on the critical assessment of arguments that interpret aspects of culture as adaptations to biological variables, such as protein needs, population pressure or nutrient flows in the ecosystem. Throughout, examples for study will be selected on a cross-cultural basis, with a focus on indigenous, traditional and developing societies, but with some attention also to developed societies.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:
- Master the essentials of the factual groundwork presented in the course, especially in the lectures and the required readings; and demonstrate awareness of key facts and the contributions of pivotal authors in the literature on human population nutrition, population health, and environmental stress and adaptability, viewed cross-culturally;
- Demonstrate a secure grasp of fundamental concepts in nutrition, epidemiology and general human adaptability, especially at social, cultural and population levels;
- Master basic epidemiological measures sufficiently to be able to draw correct inferences from population health information, including simple quantitative information, with which they may be presented;
- Use a selective case study approach to explain a topic or argument in the field orally to their peers, in a clear, concise, analytical and evidence-based manner, couched so as to elicit discussion; and respond thoughtfully to the substance of peers' similar contributions;
- Draw together material from a range of scholarly sources relevant to a topic or proposition in the field, to form a unified text which sets out an independent and, where appropriate, critical assessment of that material, balancing general argument and supporting evidence.
One 2,500 word essay (45%); an option to re-submit may be offered [Learning Outcomes 2 & 5].
One mid-semester and one final examination (totalling 45%), covering respectively the first and second parts of the course [Learning Outcomes 1-3].
One short tutorial presentation (10%) [Learning Outcome 4].
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This course is normally offered in even-numbered years
Normally there will be two hours of lectures, one hour of tutorial, and in some weeks one hour of film/videos weekly; plus private study to bring the total weekly commitment to ten hours per week.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Harrison, G., Tanner, J., Pilbeam, D. and Baker, P. Human Biology, Part IV, 3rd edn, Oxford UP, 1988.
Ashcroft, F. Life at the Extremes, Harper Collins, 2000.
McMichael, T. Human Frontiers, Environments and Disease, Cambridge UP, 2001.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
- Domestic fee paying students
- International fee paying students
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|3291||16 Feb 2015||06 Mar 2015||31 Mar 2015||29 May 2015||In Person||N/A|