Photo: An Inca female with trepanned skull. The sharp unhealed margins of the trepanation indicate that she did not survive the surgery.

the website for Dr. Valerie Andrushko and the Biological Anthropology program at Southern Connecticut State University.


Biological anthropology involves the study of human groups through biology—our bones, teeth, hair, genes, and more.


We can learn about past cultures when written accounts are rare or in doubt. Or investigate crimes when skeletonized remains are recovered. Or explore how modern groups vary genetically based on different environmental pressures. Since the guiding framework for biological anthropology is the theory of evolution, we can see how our own species came to be.


As a professor at SCSU, I teach the latest methods to allow students to make their own field discoveries. My class lectures are infused with examples from my research in Peru, California, and elsewhere, and are complemented by lab activities for hands-on learning.


In my research, I examine ancient skeletal remains for evidence of violent trauma, physical stress, and culture change. My research spans societies from emerging hierarchical groups to vast empires such as the Inca.