Courtneay Hopper

Courtneay Hopper
Prof. Genevieve Dewar
PhD Anthropology

Courtneay Hopper is a doctoral candidate under the supervision of Dr. Genevieve Dewar. Courtneay studies how the complex social shifts related to long-standing interactions between foragers and low-level food producers (herders) can be deciphered in the archaeological record. Currently, she works in the Namaqualand Coastal Desert of northwestern South Africa where these social and economic interactions have left a particularly complex archaeological picture. To better understand how these interactions can be interpreted in the archaeological record, she combines biochemical (stable isotopes, organic residue, ZooMS), zooarchaeological, and ethnohistoric analyses.

Research Interests

Introduction of food production

Human adaptions to arid environments

Paleoenvironmental and paleodietary reconstruction


Stable isotope and organic residue analyses

Migrations and social change

Awards and Grants

2022                    Superior Teaching Award, Faculty of Arts and Sciences U of T

2022                    Hal Jackman Foundation Fellowship, Archaeology Center, U of T

2021-2022          Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)

2020-2021          Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)

2019-2020          National Geographic Early Career Grant, PI: “Unlikely herders in a coastal desert: Evidence of early herding from Spitzkloof D, South Africa


2022      Hopper, C., Dewar, G. Later Stone Age herd management strategies in western South Africa: Evaluating sheep demographics and faunal composition. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. 66, 101414.

2018      Hopper, C., Sealy, J.C., Dewar, G. Little Ice Age drought event reconstructed from isotopic analysis of archaeological springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) teeth. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 495, 105–112.