Moyer has spent most of her professional career conducting HIV research as a medical anthropologist, while also teaching urban and medical anthropology, but has recently begun to focus her research on ecological matters, planetary health, and climate change. The new professorship is seen in the Anthropology department as a necessary step towards addressing increasing demands from students wishing to study the impacts of climate change on ecology, health and culture. As an UvA professor, will Moyer examine the ways that climate change affects urban life, human and otherwise, as well as the relationship between climate change, environmental degradation and disease ecology. She is interested in ethnographically examining the social dynamics and consequences of climate change and consequent disrupted ecologies, attending to geopolitical inequalities, imaginaries of sustainability and resilience, and (bio)technological fixes. She will join the Moving Matters research group at the AISSR and continues her affiliation with the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, where she serves on the Executive Board.
Moyer has conducted research on HIV/AIDS for more than twenty years and is considered an international expert on the social aspects of HIV. Her understanding of that pandemic as situated in interrelated biological, ecological, and social worlds has shaped her perspective on climate change, which she sees as a complex multi-level problem. Her new research builds on her long-term interest in African cities where the ecological, economic and epidemiological effects of climate change are being deeply felt. She links her work on human-viral relations to foundational questions about the entwinement of nature and culture, including anthropological concerns such as kinship, multispecies relations, evolution, human origins, and life itself.
Moyer currently supervises 13 PhDs and one postdoctoral researcher. She teaches courses on urban Africa, health and inequality, and ethnographic writing. As part of her new appointment, she will be responsible for developing courses focusing on ecological issues and climate change for the department of cultural anthropology’s BA and MA programmes.
Moyer obtained her PhD from the UvA in 2003, following which she has been, consecutively, a junior lecturer, assistant professor, and, since 2016, associate professor at the UvA.
With over 80 publications, Moyer is committed to interdisciplinary dialogue and influencing policy debates. Her research has been published in anthropological, medical, public health, health policy, urban and media studies journals. In 2015, Moyer co-founded the journal Medicine Anthropology Theory, which she co-edited until 2019. She remains on the advisory board of this open-access journal, which promotes cross-disciplinary dialogue among social scientists, public health specialists, and medical professionals, and is a peer reviewer for, among others, Cultural Anthropology, American Ethnologist, Medical Anthropology Quarterly and African Journal of AIDS Research.
Moyer has been a member of numerous international and interdisciplinary research teams tasked with tackling complex socio-medical problems related to HIV, sexual and reproductive health, and medicines access. She has led research projects in China, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Swaziland, and Tanzania. She is an active member of several professional associations and was elected to serve on the international board of the Society for Medical Anthropology Association (2015–2018). She co-chaired the 2018 meeting of the international Association for Social Science, Humanities, and HIV.