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Courtney L. Sexton


I spent much of my early career in advocacy communications, sharing the stories of other scientists and subject matter experts in conservation-related fields. A third-life crisis led me to an evolutionary anthropology PhD program at The George Washington University. In the Primate Genomics Lab at GW I get to study the coevolution of humans and canines (yes, I sometimes play with puppies for work!)—I am especially interested in how dogs and the domestication process can inform what we know about the evolution of human language, communication and social relationships. Outside of research, I’m always exploring the intersections of nature and culture, science and art. I enjoy going to concerts, museums, and art exhibitions, and am the co-founder and director of The Inner Loop, a nonprofit organization for writers. I’ve been in love with Washington, DC since I first moved here 10 years ago, and am thrilled to join the staff at Smithsonian magazine for the summer.


Courtney Sexton stands in an open field holding a microphone.
Photo credit: Michael O. Snyder

The George Washington University

Fellowship Sponsor: American Association for the Advancement of Science

Fellowship Host: Smithsonian Magazine