Courtney graduated from the University of Queensland with an extended major in Archaeology and minor in Anthropology. She completed her Honours thesis on Asian mammal extinctions comparing the Pleistocene to modern conservation issues.
She is currently undertaking her Masters of Philosophy from the University of Queensland and the Max Planck Institute, Jena Germany. This study will focus on using ZooMS (Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry) to characterise protein "fingerprints" for east African mammals in association with the spread of domestication to the coast through Indian Ocean trade.
Courtney has volunteered on numerous international archaeological excavations some of which include Boncuklu Höyük Turkey, Buffalo Creek Oklahoma, Burg Ranis Germany and Pinnacle Point, Waterfall Bluff and Knysna in South Africa.