Hofman studied archaeology at the Vrije Universiteit in Brussels and at Leiden University, before obtaining her doctorate in Caribbean Archaeology from Leiden University in 1993. Over the past 30 years, Hofman has conducted archaeological research on many Caribbean islands (i.e. Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Martin, St. Kitts, Antigua (Long Island), Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada, Curaçao, Aruba, and the Dominican Republic). Her research and publications are highly multi-disciplinary and major themes of interest center around indigenous archaeology, mobility and exchange, colonial contact, inter-cultural dynamics, settlement archaeology, artefact analyses, and provenance studies. Her projects are designed to contribute to the historical awareness, preservation, and valorization of indigenous heritage in the culturally and geopolitically diverse islandscape of the Caribbean.
Hofman has obtained numerous prestigious research grants, amongst which an ASPASIA-grant (2003-2008) from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), an NWO VIDI-grant (2004-2009), and an NWO VICI-grant (2008-2013). Hofman was also awarded an NWO open competition grant titled Island Networks: modeling inter-community social relationships in the Lesser Antilles across the historical divide (AD 1000-1800) and a Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) grant titled CARIB: Caribbean encounters in a New World Setting. In 2013, Hofman was awarded the highly prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Synergy-grant for a project titled Nexus 1492: New World Encounters in a Globalising World.
Hofman was on the board of the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, as vice-Dean from 2007 to 2012. She was appointed as Dean of the Faculty between 2013 and 2018. In 2013, Hofman was awarded the KNAW-Merian prize for ‘Women in Science’, the NWO Spinoza prize IN 2014, and the Distinguished Lorentz Fellowship in 2018. She is a member of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities (KHMW) since 2013, the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW) since 2015, the Academia Europaea since 2016, and Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy since 2018. In 2013, she became a member of the Netherlands National Commision for UNESCO. Hofman is one of the chosen champions for the 10th edition of the EuroScience Open Forum, which will be hosted by Leiden University in 2022.
(With F.W.M. Keehnen, eds.) Indigenous Encounters and Material Transformations in the Early Colonial Americas. Leiden: Brill, 2019.
(With A.T. Antczak, eds.) Early Settlers of the Insular Caribbean: Dearchaizing the Archaic. Leiden: Sidestone Press, 2019.
(With W.F. Keegan, eds. ) The Caribbean before Columbus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.
(With M.L.P. Hoogland) Saba’s First Inhabitants: A story of 3300 years of Amerindian occupation prior to European contact (1800 BC-AD 1492). Leiden: Sidestone Press, 2016.
(With J.B. Haviser, eds.) Managing our past into the future: Archaeological heritage management in the Dutch Caribbean. Leiden: Sidestone Press, 2015.
(With W.F. Keegan & R. Rodríguez Ramos, eds.) Oxford Handbook of Caribbean Archaeology. Oxford/NY: Oxford University Press, 2013.
(With A. van Duijvenbode, eds. ) Communities in Contact: Essays in archaeology, ethnohistory and ethnography of the Amerindian Circum-Caribbean. Leiden: Sidestone Press, 2011.