Research Facilities

Anthropology Research

Anthropology faculty conduct research around the globe. To view our research by region see the Harpur Faculty Research Map. Our research can also be viewed by area of study (Biological Anthropology).

Anthropology Research Facilities

The Anthropology facilities provide research, teaching and training support for faculty and students in the Department of Anthropology, and to students, colleagues and post-doctoral fellows outside the department who collaborate with program faculty.

  • Total of 15 laboratories located in both Science 1 and Science 3 buildings

  • Wet laboratories: for microbial, cellular and molecular studies at biosafety levels 2; forensic DNA and ancient DNA studies; estimation of biomarkers of health and nutrition

  • Dry laboratories: for paleontological, osteological, physiological and morphological studies

  • Lab research is connected with ongoing field research programs in Latin America, Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa, Europe and the USA


  • Archaeological Analytical Research Facility (AARF)
    The Archaeological Analytical Research Facility (AARF) provides infrastructure and analytical support for research and teaching by faculty and students in the Department of Anthropology at Binghamton University. The facility consists of a laboratory complex on the second floor of the south wing in the Science 1 building on campus. The purpose-built, multi-room laboratory complex (Rooms 201, 201A, 203 and 205) houses a number of collections and provides equipment and workspace for individual and group projects. The focal collection includes over 300 vertebrate skeletons, housed in Room 201A. These comparative zooarchaeological materials are accessed for research and teaching by faculty, students and interested members of the public.

    The core of the collection includes approximately 250 accessioned skeletons, most of which are disarticulated and curated in, appropriately labeled and taxonomically-ordered collections boxes. A representative sample of articulated and mounted specimens is also located throughout the main collections room for display and study. The bulk of accessioned specimens represent common and local taxa from the Northeastern United States, in addition to representative specimens from other areas of North America.

    An additional number of comparative specimens are available for study. These include taxa collected by departmental archaeologists in the course of their field research and include examples from South America, West Africa and the Arctic. Other comparative materials include an expanding collection of invertebrate specimens, Interior of Taxonomy Lab primarily from the western neotropics, as well as a variety of modern butchery specimens and variously modified examples for taphonomic research. The collections are regularly accessed during undergraduate and graduate teaching, in addition to tours by non-University organizations, visits by interested members of the public and official use by various law-enforcement agencies in the course of routine investigations. The facility also is regularly accessed in the course of advanced training and research in zooarchaeology and taphonomy by graduate students at both the master and doctoral levels. Advanced undergraduate students are especially encouraged to use these materials and available wet lab space for original, independent research projects during their junior and senior years. Many of these projects have formed the basis for senior honor's theses and subsequent publication in international journals.

    The facility also houses teaching collections, including ceramic and pottery, lithics and the departmental slide compilation, which are available on a sign-out basis for faculty and students. These are housed in an adjacent room (205), which also includes microscopes and illuminated lenses, digital balances, geological screens, cameras and various forms of lab equipment for independent research projects. Limited work space, computer facilities and temporary curation of study collections are also available in Room 205. The facility is also equipped with an Olympus Zoom microscope with attached photographic abilities, along with various IBM-compatible equipment to support computer-aided graphics in Room 203. Teaching and study space are available throughout the various rooms of the facility.

  • Archaeology and Heritage Laboratory (AHL)

    The AHL, established in 2012–2013, fosters collaborative, community-based heritage work focused on the material culture and human experiences of colonialism in the Northeast. The facility combines and focuses departmental strengths in archaeology and heritage studies, and also promotes collaborations beyond narrow disciplinary niches. AHL activities involve collaborations with faculty and students from other disciplines at Binghamton University (e.g., history, literature, geography, political science, economics, area studies) to craft innovative multidisciplinary approaches. The AHL provides a platform for growing interests in colonialism, heritage work and applications in the Northeast at Binghamton University and will foster undergraduate and graduate learning and professional development in these domains.

    The AHL serves four overlapping purposes:

    1. It is a locus for multidisciplinary, community-based heritage activities as a space for stakeholder consultations, interdisciplinary collaborations and related activities.

    2. It is a base for fieldwork projects conducted in the Northeast that address the AHL's goals, serving as the short-term curation facility for collections while the materials are undergoing analysis by undergraduate and graduate students.

    3. As an analytic facility, it is equipped for the examination and curation of the variety of archaeological materials found on colonial-era sites (e.g., plant materials, animal bones and artifacts of stone, metal, glass or clay). A high-powered microscope with digital imaging equipment allows for detailed analyses and high-resolution image capture. This equipment allows faculty/graduate researchers to include high-powered microanalysis in grant proposals.

    4. It serves as a teaching and training space, hosting classes such as Northeastern archaeology, archaeological lab methods and heritage studies. These courses use the collections, microscopes and technologies in the lab to enhance student learning and professional training.

  • Public Archaeology Facility (PAF)

    The Public Archaeology Facility (PAF) was organized in 1972 to provide cultural resource management (CRM) services to clients throughout the Northeastern United States but with a focus on New York state and Pennsylvania. Our CRM services include:

    • Phase 1A Cultural Resource Sensitivity Assessments

    • Phase 1B Archaeological Surveys

    • Phase 2 Archaeological Site Evaluations

    • Phase 3 Data Recoveries/Mitigations

    • Historic Architectural Surveys (including HABS/HAER Documentation)

    • Non-Technical Community Outreach Programs

    Public Archeology Facility Website

Biomedical Anthropology

  • Ancient DNA and Forensic DNA Laboratory

    This facility is dedicated to forensic DNA identification to complement existing forensic casework in the department. It is, by necessity, a separate functional laboratory removed from the possibility of cross-contamination from other ongoing DNA research.

  • Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology Laboratory

    The Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology Laboratory is a research laboratory geared toward forensic anthropology casework and bioarchaeology research. Forensic casework processing occurs here, as well as skeletal analysis. Standard osteometric equipment, a 3D digitizer, a stereoscopic microscope with photograph capability, X-ray equipment and standard reference materials round out the tools present for research and casework. The lab additionally has a detached secure room for evidence storage.

  • Biomedical Anthropology and Neurosciences Laboratory

    This facility consists of biosafety level 2 laboratories with a focus on cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in late-onset disorders such as ALS, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, and infectious and chronic diseases of unknown etiology. It includes a suite of three labs for tissue culture and PCR, light microscopy and molecular biology. A separate sequencing laboratory complements and supports the research in these as well as other molecular laboratories in the program.

  • Biospecimen Archive Facility

    This facility is dedicated to the restoration, archiving and long-term storage of biological specimens collected under field conditions globally over the past 50 years. The facility is unique among biorepositories and its use is open to all qualified investigators and students with an approved IRB protocol. The facility is also used to train students in the archiving of biological specimens and in the ethical conduct of human subjects research.

    Biospecimen Archive Website

  • Laboratory for Anthropometry and Biomarkers
  • Laboratory for Evolutionary Anthropology and Health

    This facility consists of wet labs for both ancient and modern DNA research with the latest direct sequencing and PCR equipment. The facility also includes ongoing research in pharmacogenetics and malaria based on individual and population variation to pharmacological agents.

  • Molecular Anthropology Laboratory

    The facilities consist of wet lab and analytical computer lab space. Facilities include PCR labs and genotyping labs. Equipment is available for direct sequencing of DNA, SNP discovery and for SNP-, RFLP- and STR-typing as well as for the analysis of these data.

  • Virtual Anthropology Laboratory

    The Virtual Anthropology Laboratory is a dedicated workspace for the digital analysis of anthropological data. The laboratory includes a number of computers with software applications relevant to anthropological analysis and access to the Internet. In addition, secure storage space is available for objects undergoing analysis. The laboratory also features a portable 3D surface scanner for scanning of archaeological materials. The laser scanner is capable of generating an accurate 3D representation (both visually and in terms of dimensions) of the physical object in the virtual environment of the computer for manipulation with various software programs. The application of medical imaging techniques (e.g., CT scans, MRI, etc.) and surface scanning of objects have become standard analytical tools in physical anthropology for the study of human remains. Applications include, among others, virtual reconstruction of fossil hominin specimens, paleopathological diagnosis, forensic facial reconstruction and biomechanical analysis of long bones. The rise of virtual anthropology also makes it feasible to carry out work at Binghamton University on original anthropological specimens that are often housed in research institutions in distant locales. These significant advantages offered through virtual anthropological techniques make this a cutting-edge approach to addressing new research paradigms within the field.

Teaching Labs & Work Spaces

  • Anthropology Student Study Center
    This room was specifically renovated to provide unfunded students with a carrel/office space to allow them to better interact with other students and faculty in the department. The room contains 15 study carrels, all of which are assigned to non-funded students. One-half of the carrels are for biological anthropology students and the remaining half are for unfunded students in cultural anthropology, archaeology and linguistics. The room also includes a full-size refrigerator, sink, counter and bookshelves above the carrels. Outlets and an internet connection exist for each carrel. Students ask the department chair to be assigned a carrel.
  • Biological Anthropology Teaching Laboratory

    This laboratory is for training students in the use of anthropometric and physiological equipment under field conditions, either as part of formal coursework or in preparation for a specific research project.

  • Biomedical MS Program Office and Workspace
    The Biomedical MS Program Office and Workspace serves as the center of the Biomedical MS Program. The program assistant is housed here and is accessible to students and faculty, and computing facilities are available for MS program students wishing to hunt for internships and/or jobs or carry out other tasks related to professional development. Bulletin boards warehouse information including internship and job opportunities, student research and professional products.
  • Osteology Teaching Laboratory

    The osteology teaching laboratory hosts all classes with focus on human skeletal remains: The Human Skeleton (336); Human Skeletal Biology (540); Forensic Anthropology (332); and Methods in Forensic Anthropology (544). Discussion sections for Introduction to Biological Anthropology (168) and Bones, Bugs and Forensic Science (245) are also held here. Several human skeletons (infant through adult), casts and comparative faunal specimens are used for learning and teaching skeletal anatomy, growth and development, trauma, pathology and the biological profile. The lab is also equipped with reference books and several anatomical charts to supplement learning.

  • Paleoanthropology Teaching Laboratory

    This is a full-sized teaching laboratory that houses an extensive collection of casts of most of the major hominin fossils that can be used for both teaching and research. The collection includes specimens attributed to the genera Sahelanthropus, Orrorin, Australopithecus, Paranthropus and Homo and new acquisitions are made on an ongoing basis. The lab also contains human and nonhuman primate skeletal material as well as osteometric equipment.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Campus Research Opportunity Postings (CROP): CROP benefits faculty, post-doctoral fellows and advanced graduate students seeking research assistance as well as undergraduates looking to gain hands-on research experience.

See Current Opportunities