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  • Jennifer A. Raff

Jennifer A. Raff, PhD

Assistant Professor
ANTH Director of Graduate Studies
Ph.D., Anthropology and Genetics (dual degree), Indiana University, Bloomington
Primary office:
Fraser Hall
Room 618
University of Kansas
1415 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, Kansas 66045


Research Areas: genomics, population genetics, ancient DNA, anthropological genetics, human evolution and population history, migration, bioarchaeology, scientific literacy, North America, Arctic



Ph.D., Anthropology and Genetics (dual degree), Indiana University, Bloomington

M.A., Anthropology, Indiana University, Bloomington

B.A., Biology and Anthropology (double major), Indiana University, Bloomington

Research Interests

  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Ancient DNA
  • Human Genetic Variation
  • Population Genetics
  • Evolution
  • Molecular Biology
  • Migration
  • Prehistory of the Americas
  • Native American Genetic Diversity
  • Science Literacy

Selected Publications

Raff, J. A. (2017). Genetics: Ancient DNA clarifies population histories of the northeastern margin of North America. Current Biology, 27, R1108-R1129.

Raff, J. (2016). Genome of the Ancient One (a.k.a. Kennewick Man). Human Biology, 87(2), 132-133. http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.13110/humanbiology.87.2.0132

Bolnick, D. A., Raff, J. A., Springs, L. C., Reynolds, A. W., & Miro-Herrans, A. (2016). Native American genomics and population histories . Annual Review of Anthropology, 45, 319-340.

Raff, J. (2016). Handbook on Science Literacy, Kendall Hunt.

Reynolds, A. W., Raff, J. A., Cook, D. C., Kaestle, F. A., & Bolnick, D. A. (2015). Ancient DNA from the Schild site in Illinois: Implications for the Mississippian transition in the Lower Illinois River Valley. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 156(3), 434-448. 10.1002/ajpa.22668

Raff, J. A. (2015). Anthropological genetics and social media outreach. American Anthropologist. DOI:10.1111/aman.12370

Raff, J. A., & Bolnick, D. (2015). Does mitochondrial haplogroup X indicate ancient trans-Atlantic migration to the Americas? A critical re-evaluation. PaleoAmerica, 1(4), 297-304. DOI:10.1179/2055556315Z.00000000040

Raff, J. A., Rzhetskaya, M. R., Tackney, J. C., & Hayes, M. G. (2015). Mitochondrial diversity of Iñupiat peoples from the Alaskan North Slope provides evidence for the origins of the Paleo- and Neo- Eskimo peoples. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 157(4), 603-614.

Tackney, J. C., Potter, B. A., Raff, J. A., Powers, M. Watkins, W. S., Warner, D. Reuther, J. D., Irish, J. D., & O'Rourke, D. H. (2015). Two contemporaneous mitogenomes from Terminal Pleistocene burials in Eastern Beringia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(45), 13833–13838. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1511903112

Raff, J. A. (2014). Review of Nicholas Wade’s "A Troublesome Inheritance" [Review of the book A Troublesome Inheritance, Nicholas Wade]. Human Biology 86(3)

Li, J. Quinque, D. Li, M. Horz, H. Rzhetskaya, M. R., Raff, J. Hayes, M. G., & Stoneking, M. (2014). Comparative Analysis of the Human Saliva Microbiome from Different Climate Zones: Alaska, Germany, and Africa. PLOS Computational Biology. DOI:10.1186/s12866-014-0316-1

Raff, J. A. (2014). Addressing a diversity problem in human genetics. Huffington Post Science Blog.

Raff, J. A. (2014). How to read and understand a scientific article. A step-by-step guide for nonscientists. Huffington Post Science Blog.

Raff, J. A. (2014). Nicholas Wade and race: building a scientific façade. Scientific literacy blog www.violentmetaphors.com.

Powell, M. L., Cook, D. C., Langley, M. M., Spencer, S. D., Raff, J. A., & Kaestle, F. A. (2012). The ‘African Queen’, A Portuguese Mystery. In A. Lucy Stodder & A. M. Palkovich (Eds.), The Bioarchaeology of Individuals: Bioarchaeological Interpretations of the Past: Local, Regional, and Global. University Press of Florida.

Raff, J. A., Bolnick, D. A., Tackney, J. C., & O'Rourke, D. H. (2011). Ancient DNA Perspectives on American Colonization and Population History. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 146, 503-514.

Meier, R. J., & Raff, J. A. (2010). Genetics in Human Biology. In M. P. Muehinbein (Ed.), Human Evolutionary Biology. Cambridge University Press.

Raff, J. A., Tackney, J. C., & O'Rourke, D. H. (2010). South from Alaska: A Pilot aDNA Study of Genetic History on the Alaskan Peninsula and Eastern Aleutians. Human Biology, 82(5-6), 677-693.

O'Rourke, D. H., & Raff, J. A. (2010). The Final Frontier: Genetic Perspectives on American Colonization. Current Biology, 20, R202-R207.

Raff, J. A., Cook, D. C., & Kaestle, F. A. (2006). Tuberculosis in the New World: a Study of Ribs from the Schild Mississippian Population, West-Central Illinois. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Rio de Janeiro, 101(Suppl. II), 25-27.

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Courses Recently Taught

  • Fundamentals of Physical Anthropology
  • Human Evolution

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