I have training in anthropological archaeology and bioarchaeology, specializing in Mesoamerican studies. My BA (Hons.) from the University of British Columbia was a major in anthropology, minor in history. During my MA at the same institution, I developed skills in carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses of bone collagen, and I applied this method and received training in oxygen and carbon isotope analyses of bone and enamel bioapatite during my PhD at The University of Western Ontario.
My MA research applied stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses to study the diets of pre-Columbian peoples in the Soconusco region (Chiapas, México, and Guatemala) from the Late Archaic to Postclassic periods. In 2015, I was awarded the Government of Canada’s Vanier Scholarship (SSHRC) for my doctoral research. My PhD project applied stable carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen isotope analyses to study dietary and geographic residential patterns of Aztecs at the residential site of Ecatepec and of Aztec (Mexica) human sacrifices recovered from the Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan and the Templo R of Tlatelolco (Basin of Mexico) during the Late Postclassic period. Since August 2020, I serve as the Executive Director of the Canadian Latin American Archaeology Society (https://www.claas-canada.com/index.php). As of September 2021, I serve as the Regional Coordinator for Mexico and Central America within the IsoArcH Association and Database, an open access and collaborative isotope database for bioarchaeological samples across time and space.
My main research interests involve ancient Mesoamerican foodways and diets; geographic movement of pre-Columbian populations; Aztec (Mexica) society, religion, and decolonizing human sacrifice; the use of animals in Mesoamerican ritual contexts; the origins and use of Theobroma cacao (chocolate) and maize by pre-Columbian peoples; Indigenous and decolonial approaches in archaeology; childhood and children in archaeology, and the forensic application of stable isotopes.
My research methods include carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen stable isotope analyses of human and animal tissues. In my recent projects, in addition to stable isotopes, I am applying radiogenic isotopes (Sr, Pb) to expand on geographic information of human samples, ancient proteomics to expand our knowledge of Aztec (Mexica) diets, and collagen peptide mass fingerprinting (ZooMS) and ancient DNA analyses for the identification of exotic animal species from Aztec (Mexica) ritual contexts.
Moreiras Reynaga, DK, J Millaire, X Chávez Balderas, JA Román Berrelleza, L López Luján, FJ Longstaffe. (2021). Building Mexican Isoscapes: Oxygen and Hydrogen Isotope Data of Meteoric Water Sampled across Mexico. Data in Brief : 107084.
Moreiras Reynaga, DK, J Millaire, X Chávez Balderas, JA Román Berrelleza, L López Luján, FJ Longstaffe. (2021). Residential Patterns of Mexica Human Sacrifices at Mexico-Tenochtitlan and Mexico-Tlatelolco: Evidence from Phosphate Oxygen Isotopes. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 62: 101296.
Moreiras Reynaga, DK, J Millaire, RE García Chávez, FJ Longstaffe. (2020). Aztec Diets at the Residential Site of San Cristobal Ecatepec through Stable Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope Analysis of Bone Collagen. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 12(9): 216.
Moreiras Reynaga, DK. (2016). Bioarchaeological Sampling Strategies: Reflection on First Sampling Experience at the Templo Mayor Museum in Mexico City. Totem: The University of Western Ontario Journal of Anthropology 24(1): Article 2.
Chávez Balderas, X, DK Moreiras Reynaga, and D Bustos Ríos. (In press). The Heartland of the Empire: Studying the Aztecs. In The Handbook of Mesoamerican Bioarchaeology, edited by V. Tiesler. Routledge.
Chávez Balderas, X, DK Moreiras Reynaga, FJ Longstaffe, L López Luján, SA Hendricks, and RK Wayne. (In press). Los Lobos de Tenochtitlan: Identificación, Cautiverio y Uso Ritual [The Wolves of Tenochtitlan: Identification, Captivity, and Ritual Use]. In Los Animales y el Recinto Sagrado de Tenochtitlan, edited by L. López Luján and E. Matos Moctezuma. El Colegio Nacional, Mexico City.
Blake, M, R Wallace, N Jakobsen, DK Moreiras Reynaga, T Powis, S Zarrillo, F Valdez, L Grivetti, N Gaikwad. (2012). Ancient Cacao Map, Version 1.0: An Online Database and Mapping Program for Studying the Archaeology of Cacao in the Americas. Laboratory of Archaeology, The University of B.C., Vancouver.
Blake, M, B Benz, R Wallace, N Jakobsen, S Formosa, K Supernant, DK Moreiras Reynaga, A Wong. (2012). Ancient Maize Map, Version 1.1: An Online Database and Mapping Program for Studying the Archaeology of Maize in the Americas. Laboratory of Archaeology, The University of B.C., Vancouver.
Doctoral Excellence Research Award (2016–2017), School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, The University of Western Ontario, Canada.
Research at Western Award (2015–2018), The University of Western Ontario, Canada.
Vanier Scholar (2015–2018), Vanier Graduate Canada Scholarship, Government of Canada.
Western Graduate Research Scholarship (2013–2017), The University of Western Ontario, Canada.
International Tuition Scholarship (2010–2013), The University of B. C., Canada.
Faculty of Arts Graduate Entrance Award (2010–2011), The University of B. C., Canada.
Dean’s Outstanding Leadership Award in the UBC Community and Beyond (2010), The University of B. C., Canada.
Current Research Projects