Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

This course provides the basic knowledge and methodologies of analysis about biodiversity and dynamics of human settlement through a biological, ecological and biocultural approach. At the end of the course the student will acquire appropriate skills for a correct understanding of biocultural and biogeographic history of human populations and also factors and meaning of their biological and ethnic diversity, useful for a conscious approach in international relations and multicultural societies.

Course contents

  1. Human Biology: An Evolutionary and Biocultural Perspective

  2. Human diversity: biological and not biological causes

  3. An introduction to genetics: GENETICS, GEOGRAPHY, AND HUMAN VARIATION

  4. Human biological variability: mechanisms that create and pattern this variability.

  5. Human adaptability, the geographical distribution of diversity, migrations and admixture

  6. The role of Climate, diet and pathogens : biocultural approaches to health and diet

  7. Co-evolution between nature and culture in human evolution

  8. Races and Inter-Mixing, Nationalities, Cultures, Castes, Classes and Religions


  • Lamb, Bernard Charles.  Human diversity: its nature, extent, causes and effects on people. World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., 2016
  • Elise J. Sobo. Dynamics of Human Biocultural Diversity: A Unified Approach, 2013 Taylor and Francis, UK


Scientific papers will be suggested during the course

Teaching methods


Assessment methods

A written test with 10 questions (multiple-choice and open questions).  Each answer has a value up to 3 scores and in the case of complete answers, the student will achieve the full mark cum Laude.

Teaching tools

videoproiettore, pc

Office hours

See the website of Donata Luiselli