Sabrina C. Agarwal is a professor in the Department of Anthropology. She obtained her bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, where she worked in both the Department of Anthropology and the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto. She spent the following two years as a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at McMaster University, and subsequently was a faculty member for one year at the University of Toronto before coming to UC Berkeley.
Her research interests are focused broadly upon the age, sex and gender-related changes in bone quantity and quality, particularly the application of biocultural and developmental/life course approaches to the study of bone maintenance and fragility. More recently, she has worked in the application of research in bone maintenance to dialogues of social identity, embodiment, developmental plasticity, disability, and inequality in bioarchaeology. She has examined age- and growth-related changes in cortical bone microstructure, trabecular architecture, and mineral density in several historic British and Italian archaeological populations, as well as the long-term effect of growth and reproduction (parity and lactation) on the human and non-human primate maternal skeleton, studying samples from prehistoric Turkey and Japan. She is currently co-directing the study of archaeological human remains from the medieval site of Villa Magna, Italy.
Her current research is also invested in bioethics of skeletal biology/bioarchaeology, specifically the practice and ethics of skeletal conservation, and she currently serves as chair of the UC Berkeley NAGPRA Advisory Committee.
Professor Agarwal is interested in the philosophies of teaching, and actively involved in the pedagogical training of current and future college instructors. At UC Berkeley she has mentored several Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellows. She co-authored the leading active learning based-lab manual for introductory courses in bioanthropology, Laboratory Manual and Workbook for Biological Anthropology (2019, Norton), was the co-founding editor-in-chief for Bioarchaeology International, and served on the editorial board of American Antiquity.