Human and Evolutionary Biology

The Human & Evolutionary Biology section focuses on the human organism within the context of development, ecology, pathology, anatomy, and physiology, while also examining how these factors influenced human evolution. Understanding human evolution will help inform us on the present and future state of our species. Faculty research is diverse and involves studies at all levels including genetic, molecular, organismal, neurobiology, mechanical, behavioral, and evolutionary implications.

  • Research strengths include: endocrinology & metabolism, neuromuscular control & biomechanics, psychology and behavior, neurobiology & metabolism, primatology and human evolution.
  • Undergraduates have the opportunity to choose a specific track to focus their studies. The BA in Human Biology Degree offers Human Evolutionary Biology, Human Physiology and Metabolism, or Human Performance; The BS in Human Biology degree offers tracks in Applied Physiology, Biomedical Science, Nutrition & Metabolism, or Human Evolutionary Biology. HBIO also offers many electives that encompass other tracks or an interdisciplinary approach.
  • The Integrative and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program offers a doctoral degree for students interested in the biological research of humans. Research interests are broad and diverse, ranging from biomechanics to metabolism to evolutionary biology.
  • Students have worked in labs researching obesity and diabetes, biomechanics, museums examining fossils, and the field studying non-human primates.

The interdisciplinary and integrative nature of our faculty's research has led to extensive collaborations with other faculty within the Biological Sciences as well as other units across the University, e.g. Viterbi School of Engineering, Keck School of Medicine, Andrus School of Gerontology, and the Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute. Additional collaborations are found with units outside of USC, e.g. L.A. County Natural History Museum, LA Veteran's Administration and Rancho Los Amigos.


Human and Evolutionary Biology Section Head: Casey Donovan

Faculty News

Jill McNitt-Gray, Professor and Director of the USC Biomechanics Research Lab, is the recipient of the 2016 Jim Hay Memorial Award from the American Society of Biomechanics. This award recognizes outstanding career accomplishments of an investigator who has conducted exemplary research in the area of sports and exercise science biomechanics. The Hay Award selection is based on the originality, quality, and depth of the research. Congratulations Dr. Jill McNitt-Gray!

Undergraduate Biology Honors

Congratulations to HBIO's Undergraduates: Agustina Kim honored with the SCynergy Award and Oscar Chen honered with the Okin Award

New Courses Offered Fall 2016

HEB News

Check out more HEB news here.

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