Biological anthropology research
Biological anthropology has a long, prestigious history at Wayne State, although faculty in this area were often found in the medical school rather than the Department of Anthropology. Two scholars received the Charles R. Darwin Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (now the American Association of Biological Anthropologists). In 1993 the award went to Dr. Gabriel Lasker, anatomist and vocal skeptic of racial typologies. In 2002 the award went to Dr. Morris Goodman, a pioneer in molecular evolution and the first to assert that chimpanzees and gorillas are more closely related to humans than to other apes.
Today, graduate students can supplement their departmental training in evolutionary and biocultural theory with classes and other resources available through the medical school or other departments such as biological sciences
Julie Lesnik comes from a background in paleoanthropology and archaeology and primarily conducts research in areas of ecological and multispecies anthropology. Her work on the role of insects in the evolution of the human diet began as an exploration into the lives of hominins about two million years ago but has expanded to focus on the historical contexts that have made food insects largely ignored by academic researchers.