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PhD (H/F). ERC DEMETER project. Bioarcheological history of domestic animals in the northwestern Mediterranean basin since the Neolithic period

This offer is available in the following languages:
Français - Anglais

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General information

Reference : UMR5554-ALLEVI-005
Date of publication : Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Scientific Responsible name : Allowen Evin
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2020
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

The domestication of plants and animals marks a major transition in human history and is a key element in the development of modern societies. Local and traditional domestic breeds and varieties are the result of millennia of selection by farmers. Two main questions will be addressed: How have domestic animals evolved over time? What socio-economic, cultural and environmental dynamics have influenced this agrobiodiversity, and how?

The objective of this PhD will therefore be to trace the evolution over time, from the Neolithic period to the present day, of domestic animal species, in particular pig, sheep and goat. The morphological evolution of these species will be quantified using the tools of geometric morphometrics, applied primarily to dental remains. The work will focus on the northwestern Mediterranean basin, Catalonia and southern France.

Morphometric data will be confronted to a series of results issued from approaches such as archaeology, climate modelling, paleoproteins (ZooMs), GIS or databases. The implementation of this study will be based on the study of a large number of archaeological sites and specimens. Eventually, the applicant should be able to propose a regional synthesis of the obtained results.

The PhD student's main activities will be to :
- Acquire geometric morphometric data (acquire 2D photographs, perform measurements)
- Carry out morphometric and statistical analyses (R language);
- Interpret the results obtained in the biological and cultural contexts of the archaeological sites studied.
- Write and publish articles
- To collaborate with various interlocutors (archaeologists, archaeobotanists, paleoclimatologists, statisticians, geomaticians).

- Biologist or archaeologist, ideally with knowledge in bioarchaeology.
- Good knowledge of data analysis with R, ideally with experience in geometric morphometrics.
- Spoken and written English. Knowledge of French, and Spanish or Catalan would be a plus.
- Ability to analyze, organize, rigor, autonomy and communication.
- Multidisciplinary teamwork.

Work Context

This thesis work is part of the European project DEMETER funded by the ERC (2020-2025) which is entitled'8 millenia of changes in domestic plants and animals : understanding local adaptation under socio-economic and climatic fluctuations'. The PhD will be developed in close collaboration with: Vianney Forest (INRAP, Nîmes), Maria Saña Segui (Univ. Autonoma Barcelona), Silvia Valenzuela (CSIC, Barcelone) and Lionel Gourichon (CEPAM, Nice).
This thesis will be carried out at Institut of Evolutionary Sciences-Montpellier (ISEM) within the « Dynamics of Biodiversity, Anthropo-ecology» team.

ISEM is a joint research unit of the University of Montpellier/CNRS/IRD/EPHE located on the Triolet campus of the University of Montpellier. ISEM brings together 17 research teams working on the origins and dynamics of biodiversity, from an evolutionary perspective, at different scales of space and time. The CDD will be integrated into the "PAST" department under the direct responsibility of A. Evin (CR CNRS), coordinator of the DEMETER program.

Constraints and risks

Missions in France and abroad

Additional Information

We thank you for sending your application (CV of 2 pages maximum), covering letter (2 pages maximum) as well as the contact details of two referees.

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