Astral anthropology or xenoanthropology was an extension of the field of anthropology that studied aliens' physical and cultural development. The USS Enterprise had an astral anthropology department. One who studied in the field was known as a xenoanthropologist.
Aboard the USS Discovery in 2256, while trying to convince acting captain Saru that using the spore drive was harmful to Ripper, Michael Burnham told him that she knew they were in a crisis situation, and that his species was trained to be cautious. This was offensive to Saru, who accused her of treating him like one of her test subjects from a xenoanthropology experiment. (DIS: "Choose Your Pain")
In 2267, a landing party was attacked by anthropoid natives from Taurus II while searching for the missing shuttlecraft Galileo. In a report to Captain James T. Kirk from Lieutenant Kelowitz, Kelowitz stated that he checked with astral anthropology to identify the creatures. In astral anthropology's report, they noted that the creatures were an Order 480-G, anthropoid, and were found to be similar to the lifeforms discovered on Hansen's Planet, only larger. (TOS: "The Galileo Seven")