College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Jennifer A. Raff

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Anthropology
Assistant Professor
Associate Director, Laboratory of Biological Anthropology
Primary office:
785-864-2633
Fraser Hall
Room 614
University of Kansas
1415 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, Kansas 66045


Research Interests

  • Physical Anthropology
  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Ancient DNA
  • Human Variation
  • Evolutionary Anthropology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Colonization
  • Migration and Dispersal and the Prehistory of the Americas
  • Native American Genetic Diversity
  • Paleopathology
  • Bioarchaeology
  • Science Literacy

Selected Publications

Raff JA and Bolnick DA. (In Press). Does mitochondrial haplogroup X indicate ancient trans-Atlantic migration to the Americas? A critical re-evaluation. PaleoAmerica.

Raff JA. (In Press) Anthropological genetics and social media outreach. Vital Topics Forum on Anthropological Genetics, American Anthropologist.

Raff JA, Rzhetskaya M, Tackney J, Hayes MG. 2015. Mitochondrial diversity of Inupiat people 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

Raff, JA. 2014. Review of Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance. Human Biology. Volume 86(3).

Li, J., Quinque, D., Li, M., Horz, H., Rzhetskaya, M.R, Raff, J., Hayes, M.G., and 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

Reynolds, A.W.*, Raff, J.A.*, Cook, D.C., Kaestle, F.A., and Bolnick, D.A. 2014. Ancient DNA from the Schild site in Illinois: Implications for the Mississippian transition in the Lower Illinois River Valley. American Journal of Physical Anthropology DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22668  *Co-first authors

Tackney, J.C., Coltrain, J.B., Raff JA, and O'Rourke, D.H. (In Press) Ancient DNA and stable isotopes: Windows on Arctic prehistory. In: Oxford Handbook of Arctic Archaeology, Max Friesen and Owen Mason, Editors. Oxford University Press.

Raff J.A. and Bolnick D.A. (2014) Genetic roots of the first Americans. Nature 506:162-163. Powell, M.L., Cook, D.C., Langley, M.M., Spencer, S.D., Raff, J.A., and Kaestle, F.A. (2012) The ‘African Queen’, a Portuguese mystery. In: The Bioarchaeology of Individuals: Bioarchaeological Interpretations of the Past: Local, Regional, and Global, Ann Lucy Stodder and Ann M. Palkovich, Editors. University Press of Florida.

Raff, J.A., Bolnick, D.A., Tackney, J.C., and O’Rourke, D.H. (2011) Ancient DNA perspectives on American colonization and population history. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 146:503-514. One of the five most accessed articles in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology in 2011.

Raff, J.A., Tackney, J.C., and 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., and Raff, J.A. (2010) The final frontier: Genetic perspectives on American colonization. Current Biology 20:R202-R207.

Meier, R. J. and Raff, J.A. (2010) Genetics in Human Biology. In: Human Evolutionary Biology, Michael P. Muehinbein, Editor. Cambridge University Press.

Raff, J.A., Cook, D.C., and 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, 101(Suppl. II): 25-27. Rio de Janeiro.

Lee, S., Carlson, T., Christian, N., Lea, K., Kedzie, J., Reilly, J.P., Bonner, J.J. (2000). The yeast heat shock transcription factor changes conformation in response to superoxide and temperature. Molecular Biology of the Cell 11:1753-1764.

Selected Grants

Raff, Jennifer A., (Co-Principal), Bolnick, Deborah A, (Co-Principal), Investigating spatial and temporal patterns of genetic diversity within an ancient Native American population from the Ohio River Valley, National Science Foundation, $275,858, Submitted 11/01/2014 (05/15/2015. Federal. Status: Funded.


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