Hannah Moots is an archaeologist whose research draws on archaeological, historical, and genomic lines of evidence to investigate changing mobility patterns of past populations in the Mediterranean world. She examines the recursive relationships between the biological and cultural changes occurring with increasing urbanization following the domestication of plants and animals - such as pathogen burden, dietary shifts, and changing kinship structures. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, working jointly with archaeologists James Osborne and David Schloen at the OI and geneticists Maanasa Raghavan and John Novembre in the Department of Human Genetics.
Her Ph.D. research was focused on using ancient DNA to study increasing trans-Mediterranean mobility patterns in the Iron Age and Roman Mediterranean world. Her past research has included an archaeogenetic analysis of the dispersal of several domesticated crops, including taro (Colocasia esculenta) and broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum), and a study of the human impacts of aridification of the Saharan Desert over the last 8,000 years. She is also an advocate for ethical and critical approaches to ancient DNA research. She teaches a course on Bioethics and Ancient DNA, and arranged a panel discussion at the 2021 Theoretical Archaeology Group Meeting entitled “A decade of paleogenomics: reflecting on the last 10 years of ancient DNA research and looking ahead.”
She holds an M.Phil. in Archaeological Science from Cambridge University and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Stanford University, and is excited to be part of the Institute on the Formation of Knowledge community! Her two-year appointment at the University of Chicago is part of a Neubauer Collegium-funded project entitled "Genomes, Migrations, and Culture in the Early Civilizations of the Middle East". The position is co-sponsored by the Neubauer Collegium, the Department of Human Genetics, the Institute on the Formation of Knowledge, and the Oriental Institute.