Jennifer A. Raff

Jennifer Raff
  • Affiliate Faculty, Indigenous Studies
  • Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Anthropology

Contact Info

Fraser Hall, room 618
1415 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045


Ph.D. in Anthropology & Genetics (dual degree), University of Indiana, Bloomington, IN
M.A. in Anthropology, University of Indiana, Bloomington, IN
B.A. in Biology & Anthropology, University of Indiana, Bloomington, IN


  • 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 Biology27, R1108-R1129.

Raff, J. (2016). Genome of the Ancient One (a.k.a. Kennewick Man)Human Biology87(2), 132-133.

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 Anthropology45, 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 Anthropology156(3), 434-448. 10.1002/ajpa.22668

Raff, J. A. (2015). Anthropological genetics and social media outreach. American AnthropologistDOI: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. PaleoAmerica1(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 Anthropology157(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 America112(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 BiologyDOI: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, Violent Metaphors.

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 Anthropology146, 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 Biology82(5-6), 677-693.

O'Rourke, D. H., & Raff, J. A. (2010). The Final Frontier: Genetic Perspectives on American Colonization. Current Biology20, 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 Janeiro101(Suppl. II), 25-27.