Paleo PhD. (Doctorate)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 30, 2010 at 9:18 PM

Hi there! First post here.

I have a bachelor's degree in Physical Activity and Sports Science, concentration in High Performance. I'm planning to star a PhD. program at Granada University (Spain), and I would love it would deal with (quoting the AHS objectives) "the human ecological niche and modern health from an evolutionary perspective" concerning my field of knowledge.

The university offers many PhD programs, but I'm hesitating between a pre-doctorate master's degree in physical and forensic anthropology or a PhD. in Physical Activity and Health.

Which one do you think would fit better with my interests? Do you think there are possibilities of further investigation in this field? Know of any university in which it's being carried out researches about "Paleo-Fitness" or "Paleo-Lifestyle"?

I would like to hear your answers and suggestions.


Info Update!

It seems that this question I posted last September, has been recently "resurrected", receiving a bunch of new responses. THANKS EVERYONE for your support and kindness!! Anyway, I would like to inform you that I finally picked the anthropology option, and that I would have started my thesis next year, sadly it also seems someone has beaten me to it... link text

Now, my question goes in a different path...

Should I resign myself and discard the idea of studying what I thought was my life's objective?? Oh man, I feel really afflicted...



on February 11, 2011
at 08:57 AM

Thanks a lot for your support Pieter!!


on September 30, 2010
at 09:48 PM

I think that by taking the anthropology path, you'll gain a better understanding of how our ancestors moved, and what stressors and kinds of activity they experienced. I think that this would give you a great deal of knowledge in that sense at least.

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6 Answers

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on October 31, 2010
at 12:17 PM

What coursework does each path entail? I agree with Drew that studying physical antrhopology will provide you with valuable knowledge. Perhaps the other will teach some useful physiology though?

The most important aspect of PhD training is your thesis. You should choose a topic that reflects your interests and abilities. Then, you choose classes to give you the background to adequately understand & address that topic.

best answer



on February 10, 2011
at 03:46 PM

Maybe it's worth contacting some of the academic paleo people, like Cordain, Eaton, O'Keefe, and the like. They probably have good connections with both the academic fields of nutrition, physical activity, medicine and anthropology.

They (and we) should be delighted that someone like you is interested in doing a PhD on this topic.

Good luck to you!



on February 11, 2011
at 08:57 AM

Thanks a lot for your support Pieter!!


on February 10, 2011
at 04:56 PM

The key reason to take a PhD program is to learn research techniques that will turn you into a researcher. If you want to make paleo related research a key factor should be going to some University where a well known paleo researcher teaches, so you could have his/her direction when you start writing your dissertation. So perhaps you should look at the main names in the field in terms of research, like Loren Cordain (Colorado), Staffan Lindeberg (Sweden), Rob Wolff, etc and find out whether they work with graduate students. Good luck!



on February 10, 2011
at 04:35 PM

P.Evil - I was going to say the opposite. I agree with the PhD > master's though.

I have a BS in exercise science with a sports medicine concentration, and I feel I have learned more since graduating and working in the field than I did during my studies. I could have learned the anatomy, nutrition, and physiology parts on my own (without the misleading information as well!).

I think the interning experience you get in the anthropology program would be enlightening, and you can pick up some anatomy, nutrition, and physiology books to supplement your studies.

Much luck A.J. and if you ever start that program I will be certainly be researching it further!


on February 10, 2011
at 02:23 PM

Personally, I'd buy some books on anthropology and read them on your own time. The guided questioning that a program provides would probably be more useful in the physiology program.

And from a purely practical perspective, it's a lot more solid to get into a PhD vs. a master's program.



on February 11, 2011
at 03:45 AM

Don't forget to think about your job prospects and what each degree would prepare you for!

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