Rick W. A. Smith

Academic Appointments

Nuekom Postdoctoral Fellow

Connect with Us

I am interested in the ways that social and political power structures shape human biology in both ancient and contemporary societies. In archaeological populations, my work focuses on reconstructing the genetic and epigenetic effects of social violence and political transformation across the rise and decline of ancient states in Central and South America. In contemporary populations, my work focusses on the genetic and epigenetic effects of American settler colonialism across class, gender, ethnic, and racial divides.


Silsby 413A
HB 6047


  • B.S. Abilene Christian University
  • M.S. Roosevelt University
  • M.A. University of Texas, Austin
  • Ph.D. University of Texas, Austin

Selected Publications

  • Smith RWA, Monroe C, and Bolnick DA. 2015. Detection of Cytosine Methylation in Ancient DNA from Five Native American Populations Using Bisulfite Sequencing. PLoS ONE 10(5): e0125344. [pdf]

Works In Progress

Smith RWA, Mannriquez K, Mata-Miguez J, Smith DG, TallBear K, and Bolnick DA.  In Cold Blood: Genetic Boundary-Making and the Production of Indigenous Histories.

Tung T, Monroe C, Smith RWA, Bolnick DA, Kemp BM. Bioarchaeological and Genetic Evidence of Native Andean Health and Mortuary Traditions in the Colonial-era: The Vinchos Cave Mummies from Ayacucho, Peru. American Journal of Human Biology.