Research Centre for Anthropology and Health

CIAS – Centro de Investigação em Antropologia e Saúde – is a research unit in the field of Biological Anthropology housed in the Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra and funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (UI283). CIAS is the only institution in Portugal in the field of Biological Anthropology.

Main Aim: the study of the determinants of health and well-being in past and living societies from a biocultural perspective.

Primary Research Questions

  • Who were our ancestors and how did they live?
  • What diseases did they have? What was their diet? What were their funeral practices?
  • What can we learn from our past to understand current health and disease?
  • What is the role of genetics in the current patterns of disease?
  • What is the role of social, economic and political factors in health and disease?
  • How can our scientific discoveries improve the lives of people?
Genes, Populations and Diseases
  • Human population genetics
  • Genetics of complex diseases
  • Impact of diseases on human genetic variability
Human Biology, Health and Society
  • Human biological variation
  • Human growth, obesity, sexual maturation, physical activity, sedentary behaviours in children and adolescents
  • Social, cultural and economic determinants of health
Past Cultures and Populations
  • Bioarchaeology, skeletal palaeobiology, funerary anthropology
  • Paleodemography, palaeopathology, palaeodiets
  • Forensic Anthropology