Anthropology & Sociology

West Chester University

Susan L. Johnston, Ph.D.

Professor of Anthropology

Johnston Profile ImageI am a biological anthropologist. My areas of specialty/interest are human health and disease, including health transition; the anthropology of food and nutrition; human adaptability; child growth and development; and native North America (especially the Plains region). I employ a biocultural perspective when considering questions or issues in these areas. To date, my primary research focus has been health and lifestyle change among Blackfeet Indians in Montana, with an emphasis on chronic disease epidemiology, food/nutrition, and reproduction. I also am a physician assistant and worked in clinical practice and teaching in that field for a number of years prior to earning my doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999. I have been at West Chester University since the fall 1999, and was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in 2004 and promoted to Professor in 2008. In this department, I served as coordinator of the Anthropology Program and advisor to the Anthropology Club for a time, and was department chair from 2005-2008. In 2008-2009 I served as   Interim Associate Dean for Faculty Development and External Affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences. I take great interest in student advising and curriculum development and have done extensive work in these areas.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Courses Offered by Susan Johnston


  • Introduction to Biological Anthropology (ANT 101)
  • Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (ANT 102)
  • Human Paleontology (ANT 310)
  • Medical Anthropology (ANT 312)
  • Topical Seminar (e.g., Nutritional Anthropology; Medical Anthropology) (ANT 405)
  • Senior Seminar (ANT 495)