Fellowship / Fellows

Christina Warinner

  • 2023–2024
  • Social Sciences
  • Sally Starling Seaver Associate Professor
  • Harvard University
Portrait of Christina Warinner
Photo by Kevin Grady/Harvard Radcliffe Institute

Christina Warinner is the Sally Starling Seaver Associate Professor at Radcliffe and a John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Her research group focuses on analysis of ancient DNA and proteins in order to reconstruct the human past. She has conducted groundbreaking studies on the evolution and changing ecology of the human microbiome—including publishing the oldest oral microbiome to date, from a 100,000-year-old Neanderthal—and published extensively on prehistoric migrations, the origins and spread of dairy pastoralism, and the biodiversity of the human gut microbiome.

During her fellowship, Warinner is exploring the phenomenon of lactose intolerance, its history of scientific study, and its unexpected ethnographic and archaeological paradoxes. She will seek to explain humanity’s complicated relationship with milk, from the ancient Near East and the steppes of Mongolia to supermarket shelves.

Warinner received a 2022 FEMS Journals Article Award and has been awarded grants from the European Research Council, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation. She was featured among nine trailblazing women scientists by Science magazine in 2020 and in the Science News 2017 SN 10: Scientists to Watch list. Her work was included in Archaeology’s Top 10 Discoveries of 2019 and in Discover’s Top 100 Stories of 2014. She was a 2012 TED Fellow and a 2014 Kavli Fellow and serves as vice president of the board of trustees of the International Society for Biomolecular Archaeology. Warinner earned her PhD in anthropology from Harvard.

Our 2023–2024 Fellows

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