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Courtney A. Hofman

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Courtney A. Hofman

Courtney Hofman, Assistant Professor in the University of Oklahoma's Department of Anthropology

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of Maryland, 2015

Office: Dale Hall Tower 510

Laboratory: Stephenson Research and Technology Center 2070
Website: or

Research Interests

  • Ancient DNA
  • Microbiomes
  • Historical ecology
  • Coastal
  • Archaeology
  • Genomics
  • Translocations
  • Zooarchaeology
  • Conservation genetics
  • High-throughput DNA sequencing
  • Bioinformatics
  • Human-environment interactions,
  • Archaeogenomics
  • Domestication
  • Science education


I am a molecular anthropologist interested in the diverse ways in which humans interact with their environments on two very different scales: human-microbe and human-wildlife. First, I investigate the evolution of the mammalian microbiome, from pathogens to commensals. This work is situated in the ongoing discussions of the ethics of conducting biomolecular research. The second area of my research focuses on human-wildlife interactions and their influence on changing environments over the past several millennia with the ultimate goal of informing conservation decisions. Drawing on genomics, proteomics, stable isotopes, archaeology, ecology and evolution, my research is inherently interdisciplinary, collaborative and applied.

I believe that we should apply the information we can learn from these studies of the past to problems we are facing in the present, especially developing realistic goals for ecosystem restoration, informing wildlife conservation and understanding disease ecology. Through interdisciplinary partnerships with biologists, managers, health professionals, anthropologists, and other stakeholders, I utilize a long-term anthropological perspective for addressing ongoing ecological and health challenges to diverse audiences.

Recent/Significant Publications

2020 Mychajliw, Alexis M., T.C. Rick, N.D. Dagtas, J.M. Erlandson, B. Culleton, M. Buckley, C.A. Hofman. Biogeographic problem-solving reveals the Late Pleistocene translocation of a short-faced bear to the California’s Channel Islands. Scientific Reports. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-71572-z

2020 Dávalos L.M., R.M. Austin, M.A. Balisi, R.L. Begay, C.A. Hofman, M.E. Kemp, J.R. Lund, C. Monroe, A.M. Mychajliw, E.A. Nelson, M.A. Nieves Colón, S.A. Redondo, S. Sabin, K.S. Tsosie, JM. Yracheta. Pandemics’ historical role in inequality. Science doi: 10.1126/science.abc8953      

2019 Austin, R.M.*, S. Sholts*, L. Williams, L. Kistler, C.A. Hofman. Opinion: To curate the molecular past, museums need a carefully considered set of best practices. (*co-first authors). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1822038116

2019 Hagan, R. W., C.A. Hofman, A. Hübner, K. Reinhard, S. Schnorr, C.M. Lewis, Jr., K. Sankaranarayanan, C. Warinner. Comparison of extraction methods for recovering ancient microbial DNA from paleofeces. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.23978

2018 Shirazi, S., T.C. Rick, J.M Erlandson, C.A. Hofman. A Tale of Two Mice: A Trans-Holocene Record of Peromyscus nesodytes and P. maniculatus at Daisy Cave, San Miguel Island, California. Holocene, (28)5:827-833. doi: 10.1177/0959683617744266

2017 Hofman, C.A, and T.C. Rick. Ancient Biological Invasions and Island Ecosystems: Tracking Translocations of Wild Plants and Animals. Journal of Archaeological Research. doi: 10.1007/s10814-017-9105-3

2017 Hofman, C.A.*, C. West*, S. Ebbert, S. Shirazi, S. Dunning, J.E. Maldonado Integrating archaeology and ancient DNA analysis to address invasive species colonization in the Gulf of Alaska.  Conservation Biology, (31)5:1163-1172. (*co-first authors) doi: 10.1111/cobi.12865

2016 Hofman, C.A, T.C. Rick, J.E. Maldonado, P.W. Collins, J.M Erlandson, W.C. Funk, R.C. Fleischer, C. Smith, T.S. Sillett, K.Ralls, W. Teeter, R. Vellanoweth, S.D. Newsome. Tracking the diet of an island canid across 7300 years of human cultural and environmental change. Quaternary Science Reviews. 146:147-160.

2016 Rick, T.C., L. Reeder-Myers, C.A. Hofman, D. Breitburg, R. Lockwood, G. Henkes, L. Kellogg, D. Lowery, M. Luckenbach, R.L. Mann, M. Ogburn, M.J. Southworth, J. Wah, J. Wesson, A.H. Hines. Millennial-Scale Sustainability of the Chesapeake Bay Native American Oyster Fishery. PNAS. 113:23, 6568–6573.  

2015 Hofman, C.A., T.C. Rick, R.C. Fleischer, J.E. Maldonado. Conservation Archaeogenomics: Ancient DNA and Biodiversity in the Anthropocene. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 30:9, 540-549.

Courses Taught

  • ANTH 4953/5970: Molecular Anthropology
  • ANTH 4953: Dogs: From Feral to Friend (OU Dream Course)
  • ANTH 3203: Introduction to Biological Anthropology
  • ANTH 1913: Plagues and People
  • ANTH 1113:  What makes us human? Exploring cultural and biological diversity (formerly General Anthropology)