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Maanasa Raghavan

Neubauer Family Assistant Professor   

Email: mraghavan[AT]

Maanasa is a Neubauer Family Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Genetics. Maanasa earned a PhD from the University of Copenhagen in 2011 and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for GeoGenetics, Denmark (2012-2015) and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge (2016-2018). Maanasa's doctoral and postdoctoral research focused on the early peopling of the Americas using ancient genomics. Her current research leverages modern and ancient DNA to investigate how and when patterns of worldwide genetic diversity were formed and implications for present-day human health and disease. Outside of the lab/office, Maanasa enjoys playing the drums, fussing over her cats, and watching hockey (Go Leafs!).


Constanza de la Fuente Castro

Postdoctoral Researcher   

Email: cdelafuente[AT]

Constanza is a postdoctoral scholar in the lab. She previously completed a PhD at the Center for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, where she applied molecular and bioinformatics tools to study past populations in Siberia and the Americas. Constanza is developing sustainable research strategies for incorporating ancient DNA tools to answer regional questions across the Americas, in particular her home country, Chile. Besides her academic interests, she enjoys travelling, cooking and rock climbing.


Jeffrey Gaillard

Research Assistant

Email: gaillardj[AT]

Jeffrey was trained in Anthropology, Archaeology, Biblical Studies and History. While at Yale, he followed a course in Anthropological Genetics, which led him to pursue research in human population genetics and computational genomics. In the GenSCAPE Lab, he will be working on using methods in human evolutionary genetics and paleogenomics to examine the population history of South Asia.He enjoys reading, BritBox, PBS, traveling abroad and visiting Museums.


Hannah Moots

Postdoctoral Researcher

   Email: hmoots[AT]

Hannah is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, working jointly with geneticists Maanasa Raghavan and John Novembre in the Department of Human Genetics and archaeologists James Osborne and David Schloen in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Together they explore questions about interactions and mobility in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially in light of the rich archaeological and historical record of the region. 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. Other past projects include 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 at Gobero. She teaches courses at UChicago, including an Introduction to Archaeogenetics and Bioethics and ancient DNA. She also enjoys trail running.


Nagarjuna Pasupuleti

Research Affiliate   

Email: nagarjuna.ambu[AT]

Nagarjuna is a research affiliate, based in India. He completed his Masters in Biotechnology from Bharathiar University, India, and has since worked in several research institutes in India such as the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CSIR-CCMB), Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences (DST-BSIP) and Central Drug Research Institute (CSIR-CDRI). His research interests include population and evolutionary genetics and microbiome studies, particularly the role of gut microbiota in human health and disease. His current project involves working with communities across India to develop microbiome projects. When not in the field or the lab, Nagarjuna enjoys learning new languages, travelling and trekking.


Jose Antonio Urban (Toño)

PhD student (Human Genetics)   

Email: jaurban[AT]

Toño is a second-year Human Genetics PhD student and a Fulbright-Garcia Robles scholar. Before coming to Chicago, Toño did a BS in genomic sciences and a masters at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico. During his Masters, Toño analyzed the population structure of yeasts involved in the fermentation of agave in Mexico. He is interested in studying the evolutionary history of human populations and is working on projects involving the human genetic histories of Sri Lankan population. In his free time, Toño enjoys watching series and movies.


Esha Bandyopadhay

PhD Student​ (Human Genetics)

Email: eshab5[AT]

Esha is a fifth-year grad student in Human Genetics interested in population genetics. She completed her B.Tech (2015) and M.Tech (2017) in Genetic Engineering from SRM University, India. As a part of her M.Tech thesis work, she spent six months at the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Esha's project focuses on the human genetic history of the Indian Himalayas and Northeast India. Besides genetics, she enjoys painting, photography, traveling and reading [Psst: She is a huge Sherlock fan!]


Bridget Chak

PhD Student​ (Genetics, Genomics, and Systems Biology), joint with the Barreiro Lab 

Email: bchak[AT]

Bridget is a fourth-year PhD student in Genetics, Genomics, and Systems Biology interested in population genetics, human evolution, and global health. Before coming to Chicago, she was at Harvard University and the Broad Institute working on projects in viral genomics and outbreak response in Western Africa. Bridget’s project is geared towards understanding the demography and selection landscape among global hunter-gatherer populations. Outside of the lab, you’ll probably find her trying out new bars/restaurants in Chicago. She also enjoys pilates, music, football (go Liverpool!), and F1.

Imani Gordon

PREP Scholar

   Email: gordon1446[AT]

Imani is a scholar in the NIH Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program interested in population genetics. Before coming to Chicago, she graduated from UNC Pembroke with her BS (2022). The project Imani is working on in the GenSCAPE lab aims to extract and analyze ancient human DNA from Medieval era burials in Noli, Italy. Outside of science, she loves reading, playing with her puppy, and spending time with her family and friends.


Meghana Natesh

Postdoctoral Researcher

Email: meghanan[AT]

Meghana is a postdoctoral researcher in the lab interested in studying the evolutionary history and population genomics of natural populations, particularly wildlife. During her PhD she studied genetic differentiation and connectivity among tiger populations in India. In GenSCAPE lab, she will focus on yak populations from India to investigate genetic variation and population history across the Himalayas. She is also interested in reading and hiking.


Shreya Ramachandran

PhD Student​ (Human Genetics)

   Email: shreya23[AT]

Shreya is a fifth-year PhD student in Human Genetics interested in population and evolutionary genetics and the human gut microbiome. Before coming to Chicago, she graduated from Stanford University with her BS (2016) and MS (2017) in Biology and spent a year on a Fulbright fellowship in Maria Avila's lab in Querétaro, Mexico. Shreya's projects focus on investigating pathogen evolution using ancient DNA and gut microbiome transitions in South Asian populations. When she's not thinking about genes and bugs, she likes reading, baking, and teaching English as a Second Language.


David Witonsky


Email: wito[AT]

David is a bioinformatician and genetic data analyst who has worked in the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Chicago for over 15 years. During these years, he has worked closely with the labs of Anna Di Rienzo, John Novembre, and Sonia Kupfer developing and applying a diverse array of statistical and computational methods in research directed towards uncovering the mechanisms giving rise to phenotypic diversity in modern humans. Much of this work has focused on the genetic adaptation of humans to the unique stresses of high altitude environments. In his spare time, David likes to relieve his own stress by running and playing the piano.


Group Members

Lab Alumni

Jovan Stanisavic (jstanisavic[AT]

Biological Sciences Collegiate Division Summer Fellow

Jovan is an undergraduate at the University of Chicago.

Tabitha Willis (willis.592[AT]

LSAMP-SURE Grant Research Scholar

Tabitha is an NIH NU-MHRT Fellow at Northwestern University.

Emily Koch (emilykoch[AT]

Leadership Alliance Research Student

Emily is a grad student at the University of Michigan.

Mayher Kaur (mkaur1[AT]

Summer undergraduate researcher

Mayher is an undergraduate at the University of Chicago.

Suzanne Freilich (suzanne.freilich[AT]

Visiting PhD student at GenSCAPE Lab, Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation scholarship

Suzanne is a postdoctoral researcher in archaeogenetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

Amali Fernando (amalishanya92[AT]

Visiting PhD student

Amali is a PhD student at the University of Colombo, studying the population history of Sri Lanka.

William Barrie (wb275[AT]

Undergrad thesis student, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge

Will is a PhD student with Prof. Eske Willerslev at the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge.

Anoushka Menon (am2599[AT]

M.Phil. thesis student, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

Anoushka works on the Growth Team at Thriva, a med-tech start-up, where her role is Growth Analytics and Performance Marketing.

Ece Akdoğan (ecakdogan[AT]

Erasmus Programme M.Sc. student, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge

Ece is a sustainability consultant with S360 Sustainability Consultancy.

Renée Fonseca (reneefonseca[AT]

Rotation Student (Human Genetics)

Renée is a graduate student in the Dahl lab.

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