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Reference : UMR5199-SOLRIG-002
Workplace : PESSAC
Date of publication : Friday, April 19, 2019
Type of Contract : FTC Scientist
Contract Period : 24 months
Expected date of employment : 1 November 2019
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : Monthly gross salary ranging from 2 610 and 3720 euros (depending on experience)
Desired level of education : PhD
Experience required : Indifferent
Human mobility is a key factor for the spread of genes and cultures, but it affects them in different ways. While genes spread exclusively by movements of people, cultural traits can spread independently and over long distances by cultural interaction. The goal of this postdoctoral project is to explore gene-culture co-evolution in Europe during the transition to farming by using a novel approach that will jointly estimate human mobility and material culture diffusion from both a genetic and archaeological perspectives.
The project is based on the assumption that mobile societies will be characterized by comparatively low isolation by distance, while less mobile groups will be geographically structured. It is also based on the widely accepted idea that similarities in material culture result from repeated interactions between individuals and groups, favored by individual mobility, exchange of goods, social information, technological knowledge and symbolic items. In other words, the more the material culture is similar, the tighter are the links between groups.
Attempts to cross genetic data and cultural data are not numerous. In this project we wish to analyze genetic and archaeological data jointly and with comparable methodologies. We will focus on Europe at the dawn of agriculture, circa 7500 years ago, a time period and region for which foragers and farmers genetic data, and data on their material culture, are available. The genetic dataset comprises hundreds of published samples from all over Europe for the target period, including genome-wide as well as mitochondrial and Y-chromosome data. The archaeological dataset is composed of an updated georeferenced database of personal ornaments produced by the last hunter-gatherers and the first farmers in Europe covering 48 archaeological cultures and recording hundreds of different bead types from more than a thousand burials and archaeological levels distributed throughout Europe.
The combined analysis of these data sets will allow to address issues such as the degree of similarity between regions in processes of genetic and cultural admixture, document sources and proportions of hunter-gatherer ancestry, discuss whether personal ornaments circulation is more related to women or men mobility. It should also allow investigating whether cultural boundaries limited gene flows and slowed down the Neolithic spread in some areas.
Lipson, M., Szécsényi-Nagy, A., Mallick, S., Pósa, A., Stégmár, B., Keerl, V., Rohland, N., Stewardson, K., et al., 2017. Parallel palaeogenomic transects reveal complex genetic history of early European farmers. Nature 551, 368.
Rigaud, S., d'Errico, F., Vanhaeren, M., 2015. Ornaments Reveal Resistance of North European Cultures to the Spread of Farming. PLoS ONE 10, e0121166. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0121166
Rigaud, S., Manen, C., García-Martínez de Lagrán, I., 2018. Symbols in motion: Flexible cultural boundaries and the fast spread of the Neolithic in the western Mediterranean. PLOS ONE 13, e0196488. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0196488
Tassi F., Vai S., Ghirotto S., Lari M., Modi A., Pilli E., Brunelli A.S. R. Rosa, Budnik A.a, Labuda D., Alberti F., Lalueza-Fox C., Reich D., Caramelli D., Barbujani G., 2017. Genome diversity in the Neolithic Globular Amphorae culture and the spread of Indo-European languages. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 284, 20171540. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2017.1540
The candidate will have a primary role in the processing and management of genomic data (both ancient and modern), as well as the development of methods to jointly study the archaeological and genetic data. He/she will also contribute to the organization of an international meeting on culture/gene co-evolution at the end of the project.
The ideal candidate will have computational background (knowledge of R and Python/Perl programming languages), strong skills in bioinformatics and biostatistics to handle and analyze genomic data. He/she will also have a strong population genetics background (with a particular focus on demographic modelling), and a deep interest in cultural evolution and archaeology.
We are seeking for candidates who can communicate and write in English although fluent English is not mandatory. Applicants should have a PhD degree or demonstrate they have submitted their PhD dissertation for discussion.
The postdoc will be based at the PACEA laboratory of the Bordeaux University and will collaborate with archaeologists (S. Rigaud and F. d'Errico), paleogeneticists based in the same laboratory (MF Deguilloux, M. Rivollat) and population geneticists from the University of Ferrara (G. Barbujani, S. Ghirotto). The postdoc will be a team member of the CNRS Momentum project led by S. Rigaud titled Symboling and neighboring at the dawn of Agriculture. He/she will also benefit from an ongoing collaboration with researchers involved in the ANR-DFG project INTERACT “Human interactions during the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Western Europe: The dual perspectives of cultural and biological exchanges” (PI W. Haak & MF. Deguilloux).
The successful candidate will receive financial support for attending international meetings, preparing publications, and covering expenses to fund short stays at the University of Ferrara (Italy).
Constraints and risks
This is a 24 months position
Please contact Solange Rigaud (email@example.com) for any questions. Applications will need to be completed and submitted via emploi.cnrs.fr. The application website can be difficult to handle for non-French speakers, so do not hesitate to contact Solange Rigaud for assistance, if needed or any other questions. Required documents include CV, motivation letter, relevant publications/PhD thesis.
The deadline to apply is September 1st 2019 and the postdoc will start the 1st November 2019. We will organize Skype interviews between the 1st and the 15th of September and the final decision will be announced at the end of September at the latest.
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