Deborah Bolnick is an anthropological geneticist and biological anthropologist who explores how sociopolitical forces, historical events, and social inequalities shape human genomic and epigenomic diversity, as well as human biology more broadly. In her research, Bolnick analyzes DNA from ancient and contemporary peoples, in conjunction with other lines of evidence, to help reconstruct population histories in the Americas.
She received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California at Davis, and is a past president of the American Association of Anthropological Genetics. She is also the co-author (with John Relethford) of Reflections of Our Past: How Human History is Revealed in Our Genes, and is a co-organizer of the Summer internship for Indigenous peoples in Genomics (SING) program.
Deborah is currently working closely with Indigenous partners to assess the genetic and epigenetic impacts of settler colonialism in the southern United States and central Mexico. She is also interested in the ethical, legal, and social implications of genomic research, and she studies the methods and applications of genetic ancestry testing, investigating how ancestry tests influence and are influenced by contemporary understandings of race, ethnicity, gender, and identity. Through her work, Bolnick strives to help integrate more critical, intersectional, historically marginalized, and decolonial perspectives into science.