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PhD project in Paleontology (H/F): Reconstructing Plio-Pleistocene hydrosystems in the Omo-Turkana Basin with integrative studies of sedimentology and freshwater mollusks

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

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General information

Reference : UMR8198-BERVAN-002
Workplace : VILLENEUVE D ASCQ
Date of publication : Friday, May 01, 2020
Scientific Responsible name : Bert Van Bocxlaer (UMR 8198 Evo-Eco-Paleo), Alexis Nutz (CEREGE), Mathieu Schuster (UMR 7516 Institut de Physique du Globe)
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

Vacancy description
We are pleased to announce a PhD fellowship for a highly motivated, enthusiastic and independent person with a keen interest in the paleontology of freshwater mollusks and their application to paleoenvironmental reconstruction through the integration of taphonomy and sedimentary geology. Background knowledge of evolutionary biology, morphometrics, ecological data analysis, facies analysis, sequence stratigraphy and enthusiasm to participate to fieldwork in Africa are plus-points.

Project description
Freshwater mollusks are common in lakes, rivers and wetlands and, hence, they record living conditions in continental hydrosystems. They leave abundant fossil remains in the deposits of various basins in the East African Rift, but despite their unique potential to reconstruct paleoenvironments, including those in which hominids evolved, they remain underutilized compared to terrestrial vertebrates. We propose a trans-disciplinary PhD project on the sedimentology, taphonomy and paleontology of late Cenozoic mollusk assemblages of the Omo-Turkana Basin to reconstruct hydrosystems of the basin in space and time. Although the basin harbored various paleolakes, it is unclear whether changes in aquatic communities coincide with major lacustrine transgressions and regressions, and how environmental change affected biotic communities. We propose to study freshwater mollusk communities over time from stratigraphically constrained shell beds together with depositional facies and basin-scale sequence analysis.

Work Context

Setting and requirements
The project is funded by the CNRS 80|PRIME initiative and will be developed in an inter-institutional collaboration between the UMR 8198 Evo-Eco-Paleo of the CNRS and Lille University, the European Centre for Research and Teaching in Environmental Geosciences (CEREGE) in Aix-en-Provence and the Institute for Earth Physics (UMR 7516) of the CNRS and Strasbourg University. Furthermore, this project is embedded in an ongoing GDR on the East African Rift that brings together a larger research consortium. Lille University is the diploma-granting institution for this PhD project, so that the successful candidate will be subscribed to a doctoral school of Lille University. Master students that are graduating over the summer are welcome to apply. More information on studying at Lille University can be found on the Lille University webpage: https://www.univ-lille.fr/home/international-student/.

The recruitment date could be extended until the end of the confinement period.

Constraints and risks

Not applicable

Additional Information

Profile of the candidate
- Master's degree in a relevant field (geosciences, paleontology or paleobiology or equivalent)
- Eager to acquire new competences and knowledge
- Fluent in English, knowledge of French is a plus-point
- Ability to work in an interdisciplinary and collaborative environment (independency, reliability, integrity)
- Ability to write clear scientific reports and disseminate results
- Have good non-academic attributes (e.g. maturity, open-mindedness, respectfulness)

Interested?
To apply for this position, please upload the following information to the application portal: a complete CV including grades of the last completed year; a short description of past research accomplishments and future goals; the name and e-mail address of a previous project supervisor (bachelor or master thesis). Informal inquiries as to this vacancy can be sent to any of the email addresses indicated above.

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