Samanti Kulatilake


 Associate Professor
Office: B349G
Phone: +1.403.440.8758


PhD. Biological Anthropology
University of Cambridge, UK.
Thesis: Cranial Diversity and the Evolutionary History of South Asian Populations
M.Phil. Biological Anthropology
University of Cambridge, UK.
B.A. Anthropology (Adv. Program)
University of Manitoba, Canada

Teaching Focus

Biological (Physical) Anthropology; Quantitative Methods in Anthropology; ​Field Studies in Anthropology; Human Evolution and Dispersals; Biological Anthropology of South Asians​;  Human Osteology, Palaeopathology, Mortuary Practices and Paleodemography; Ancestry and Genetic Applications; Evolution of Human Diversity, Affinities and Adaptations.


Research, Scholarly Teaching and Service 

  • As a biological anthropologist exploring patterns in population change, I use methods in human osteology and bioarchaeology to study human dispersals, affinities and adaptations
  • I have a multi-year research collaboration record with Sri Lankan institutions and disseminate results via co-authored publications on human skeletal remains and genetic information
  • To serve my research community and enable dissemination of findings informing global academic and public audiences on Sri Lankan archaeological content, I contribute as the Editor of the collaboratively peer-reviewed Open Access Journal Ancient Lanka
  • With the aim of making anthropological knowledge accessible, I have authored several Sinhala language peer-reviewed textbooks, including Open Access Educational Resources, widely used in Sri Lankan post-secondary institutions
  • I Coordinate the Anthropology Program at MRU (2022-2024) and Co-lead of the MRU Sri Lanka International Field School.

To access my research and scholarly teaching publications, visit


Selected Publications and Presentations

Kulatilake, S. (2022). Minis Saththwaya: Jiiva Maanava Vidya Praweshaya මිනිස් සත්ත්වයා: ජෛව මානව විද්‍යා ප්‍රවේශය I (The human organism: Introduction to Biological Anthropology Volume I) Open Access Online Educational Resource. 

Kulatilake, S., Karunaratne, P., & Perera, N. (2021). Threatened coastal sites and loss of bioarchaeological heritage:  Mini-athiliya and Godavaya rescue operations, southern Sri Lanka. Back(bone) to the Future: Bioarchaeological Perspectives on Climate Change and Climate Crisis Conference, Germany - Online.

Kulatilake, S., & Carmichael, P. (2021). Can the Peruvian Mummies Speak?  Challenges and opportunities in ancient DNA analyses. International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) Congress, Zagreb, Croatia - Online. 

Kulatilake, S. (2020). The Sarasins’ Collection of Historical Sri Lankan Crania, Anthropological Science, Vol 128(2).

Kulatilake, S., Peiris, R., Perera, H.N., Perera, H.J. (2018). Out of Context, In Association: Human Remains Salvaged from the Mini-athiliya Shell Midden, Sri Lanka. Asian Perspectives. Vol. 57(1) pp. 51-82. 

Kulatilake, S. (2016). The peopling of Sri Lanka from prehistoric through historic times: Biological and Archaeological evidence. In Robbins-Schug, G., Walimbe, S. (ed.) A Companion to South Asia in the Past. pp 426-436. Wiley-Blackwell. Kulatilake, 2016

Kulatilake, S., Perera, N., Deraniyagala, S.U., Perera, J. (2014). The Discovery and Excavation of a Human Burial from the Mini-athiliya shell midden in Southern Sri Lanka. Ancient Asia. Vol. 5(3) pp. 1-8. Kulatilake et al, 2014