Recruitment of a postdoctoral fellow for the ANR “Starch4Sapiens” project at the Aix-Marseille University, France

The post-doc: “Modelization of territorial dynamics of Homo sapiens in western Asia”

Today Homo sapiens (HS) is the only human species on Earth. This has not always been the case: 40,000 years ago, HS shared the planet with at least four Eurasian archaic humans (EAHs) (Neanderthals, Denisovans, Flores and Luzonensis). The purpose of the post-doctoral work is to better understand the dispersal of HS from its African cradle to Eurasia. This did not take place uniformly, but it occurred on the preferred routes along rivers and in areas rich in resources (food and raw materials) necessary for their survival. Modelling will make it possible to analyze the parameters of this expansion.

The aim of the study is to learn about the dispersion of HS from Africa to Eurasia. The post-doc will be in charge of designing a model of dispersion in space and time for Hs hunters and gatherers. The model will take into account factors such as climate change over the last 100 ka years, hospitable landscapes, resource availability or scarcity and the presence of other humans. She or he will participate in an in-progress database for geographic and climatic data, fossil, archeological and wildlife data. This project will provide a unique opportunity to do interdisciplinary work in close interaction with archeologists, paleo-climatologists and anthropologists.

We are looking for a postdoctoral candidate with a background in bioinformatics and mathematics, with good knowledge of spatial interaction, mathematical methods, Markov models and population diffusion processes.

Aix-Marseille Université (AMU) is a generalist French university, with locations in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence. Since 2019, it has been a member of the European university project CIVIS. With nearly 3,000 teacher-researchers, 110 research units, nine federative structures, ten laboratories of excellence, and more than 6,500 scientific publications per year, Aix-Marseille University is one of the 18 intensive research universities in France. Aix-Marseille University is generally ranked in the top ten French universities. Thus the CWUR ranking ranks it sixth, after Paris-Sud, Paris-Pierre and Marie Curie (UMPC), Paris 7 and Strasbourg. The Shanghai ranking places it in 4th place (not counting the ENS), behind UMPC, Paris-Sud and Strasbourg. In Shanghai’s ranking AMU was among the 100 to 150 best universities in the world in 2017.

She or he will work in association with two units of the AMU: ADES (Anthropologie, Droit, Ethique et Santé), the lab of Paléo-anthropologie and Bio-archéologie in Marseille, and the LAMPEA (Laboratoire Méditerranéen de Préhistoire Europe Afrique) at Aix-en-Provence. Both of these laboratories are associated with the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique).

Position: 1 year postdoctoral position from March or September 2021.

Contact and CV to Silvana and