The Department of Anthropology provides a number of hands-on training opportunities in research-active labs. Classroom lectures are great tools for providing foundational knowledge, but one of the best ways to study anthropology is by doing anthropological work. At Temple University, students in our Anthropology program get the opportunity for hands-on learning in our biology, linguistic and media labs.
Biological Anthropology Research Lab
Dr. Christie Rockwell, Director
The Biological Anthropology Research Lab is a 450 sq. ft. wet-lab within the Anthropology Department. It contains a Biosafety Cabinet, Plate Reader, Freezers and Refrigerator, Centrifuges, as well as Inverted and Trifocal Light Microscopes with high magnification optics. The lab is suitable for immunocyto- and immunohistochemistry. There is a computer workstation configured with Linux OS enabling researchers to connect to Temple University’s High Performance Computing Environment where bioinformatics and other Big Data analysis can be done. The facility is available for graduate student research (with permission). Recent student dissertation projects include the following:
Kristin Almskaar, MA, ABD The Role of the Placental Microbiome in Reproductive - Immune Trade-offs Associated with Pre-term Birth: A Life History Perspective.
Andrew Van Horn, MA, ABD Quantification and Phylogenetic Comparative Analysis of Pelage Sexual Dichromatism in Primates.
Elizabeth Rowe, PhD The Impact of Variation in the Progesterone Receptor Gene, Life History, and Lifestyle on Endometrial Function and the Menstrual Cycle.”
Biological Anthropology Teaching Laboratory
The Biological Anthropology Teaching Laboratory is dedicated for use in introductory and upper division courses human osteology, human paleontology, human growth and development, human genetics, human reproduction and health, and primatology. It contains a large study collection of human skeletons and dental casts for use in our anatomy and osteology classes. The Teaching Laboratory also houses an extensive and up-to-date collection of casts of human ancestors and their relatives such as Neanderthals. We maintain a comparative non-human primate skeletal collection, and other select mammalian materials. In addition, we have models of DNA molecules and equipment used for physiological measurements and radiographic assessments. The teaching lab is outfitted with smart-classroom capabilities to support film viewing, lecture and student presentations, and WEB based instruction. Most classes in biological anthropology are held in this facility, which seats 30 students, and make regular use of the collections. Open-lab study hours are made by arrangement with course instructors.
Linguistic Anthropology Laboratory
The Linguistic Anthropology Teaching Laboratory, or “LingAnth Lab,” is devoted to the collection and analysis of audio- and video-recorded ethnographic data. It supports the teaching, training, grant-getting, research, and publishing endeavors of faculty members, doctoral students, and advanced undergraduate students, particularly those whose work involves recording and closely analyzing naturally occurring language use and interactions. Currently, faculty and students affiliated with the LingAnth Lab have research and writing projects underway based on data collected in the Greater Philadelphia area as well as in Angola, Argentina, Aruba, Colombia, Curaçao, the Dominican Republic, Peru, St. Lucia, Spain, and Vietnam.
In recent years, doctoral students affiliated with the LingAnth Lab have been awarded many of the most prestigious grants and fellowships that are available to support doctoral research in anthropology. These include the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship; the Fulbright Fellowship; the Fulbright–Hays Fellowship; the Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant; the National Security Education Program Boren Fellowship; and the National Academy of Education Spencer Dissertation Fellowship.
Skeletal Biology Laboratory
Dr. Kimberly D. Williams, Director
Media Anthropology Laboratory
Reflecting one focus of faculty and student research, The Department of Anthropology features a Media Anthropology Lab. The lab houses four double-monitor computer stations for video and sound editing, often used during our visual anthropology courses and other courses that offer opportunities for students to work with video. The lab is also home to a number of camera kits and other equipment (tripods, sound equipment, lights), which can be borrowed by undergraduate students majoring in anthropology, and anthropology graduate students, for their own projects.
Laboratory of Research and Exhibitions
The Laboratory of Research and Exhibitions houses ethnological, archaeological, historical, and biological collections from all over the world. Since its inception in 1964, the LRE has focused on providing a hands-on learning for Temple University students, who help design exhibits, manage collections, and perform original research. Faculty and students also use the laboratory for their own research projects, including the wet lab, microscopes, reference collections, and analytical space. Forthcoming equipment for isotope sample preparation, a zooarchaeological laboratory, and a digitization studio will expand the laboratory’s research capability.
Many Temple undergraduate students come through the museum doors, often as part of courses in Anthropology or Latin American Studies. Many others participate in collections-based research projects with Anthropology faculty. If you are interested in working in the museum, please contact the director for information about taking the Practicum in Curation and Collections Management. Students in this 1-credit hour course choose from projects digitizing collections, creating exhibits, or performing research on museum materials.
Our collections include:
- Ethnological material from the Solomon Islands and other parts of the South Pacific.
- Ethnological material from the Amazon basin.
- Archaeological collections from sites in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.
- Collections transferred from the Philadelphia Commercial Museum.
If you would like to visit the museum, access the collections, or use the laboratory facilities, please contact the director at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit the Anthropology Lab website.