Anatomy and human biology

Exploring what it means to be human

 The study of anatomy investigates the structure, systems and functions of the body from cells and molecules to species and populations. Human biology is a closely related discipline exploring what it means to be human in an integrative way. It combines studies of the biology and behaviour of human beings with current social and ethical issues. 

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Key research areas

At UWA, our researchers have access to high-quality facilities and industry collaborations which facilitate projects across eight broad areas:
Biological anthropology

Biological anthropology investigates how the biology and behaviour of humans are influenced by genetic, developmental, ecological and cultural factors. We focus on evolutionary principles as applied to human evolution, the behavioural ecology of primates, the process of gene-environment interaction during development, and the interplay of cultural and biological factors in human behaviour.

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Cell and molecular biology

Research in cell biology looks at cellular and molecular networks, and the interactions underpinning human biology. This research helps us understand how our genetic information and signalling networks give rise to distinct cell types, and how our cells respond to environmental challenge, including disease states.

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Reproductive biology and endocrinology

Research in reproduction examines the impact and interaction of stress and nutritional factors on male and female fertility, placental function, foetal growth, pregnancy outcome and foetal programming of the adult phenotype.

Human studies centre on the use of assisted reproductive technology, particularly psychosocial and lifestyle factors influencing treatment outcome and issues surrounding the use of donated gametes and embryos.

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Sleep science

Sleep science research explores the causes of, and treatments for, sleep disorders including sleep apnoea and insomnia.

Research is undertaken at the Centre for Sleep Science, University's purpose-built sleep training and research facility, in collaboration with the West Australian Sleep Disorders Research Institute at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

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The School of Human Sciences is home to a range of facilities which support world-class research and teaching activities.

Postgraduate courses


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