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PhD or Master’s thesis research project on ‘hominid dental ecology’

Hiring Organization:
Max Planck Weizmann Center for Integrative Archaeology and Anthropology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Date Posted:
2014-03-27

Position Description:
The research project we are offering is directly related to the Pan African Programme (http://panafrican.eva.mpg.de/index.php), for which environmental data and organic sample materials (including skeletal remains) are currently collected in the field to study the biological and cultural variation of chimpanzee populations living in different habitats and regions across Africa. The aim of this programme is to understand the evolutionary-ecological factors (habitat, biodiversity, vegetation, climate, genetics) ultimately driving hominoid diversification. Within this framework, the main objective of the project on ‘hominid dental ecology’ is to investigate the dietary ecology, morphology and behavior of extant chimpanzees as a model for the palaeoecology of early hominins. For this project we offer a

PhD or Master’s research project

to highly motivated students interested in human and primate evolution and in the integration of laboratory and field data. By using dental morphological and biochemical analyses the incumbent will investigate dietary signatures, environmental and physiological markers of stress and other life history parameters in a Pan African skeletal collection of wild chimpanzees and relate them to ecological field data.

The research will be conducted in Leipzig (Germany) in a young and interdisciplinary research team at the Max Planck Weizmann Center for Integrative Archaeology and Anthropology (http://www.eva.mpg.de/mpwc), Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (http://www.eva.mpg.de) under the supervision of Drs. Kornelius Kupczik, Vicky Oelze and Hjalmar Kühl. The MPI has an outstanding international reputation in the various disciplines of anthropology as it unites scientists with diverse academic backgrounds whose aim is to investigate the history of humankind from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Qualifications/Experience:
Profile and requirements:
You have a degree (MSc, BSc, Diploma or equivalent) in physical anthropology, zoology, ecology, biochemistry or paleontology (or other related fields). Experience in dental morphology, pathology and histology and/or stable isotope analysis is desirable, yet not mandatory.

You should offer the following skills:
• basic lab experience (e.g. chemical, biochemical or genetic)
• basic parametric and non-parametric statistical knowledge
• good command of English (oral and written).

Candidates interested in pursuing a 3 year fully funded PhD research project starting as early as May 2014 should already have a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in hand or close to completing. In addition, we offer 6 months research projects suitable for Master’s research theses. The Max Planck Society is committed to employing physically impaired individuals and to increasing the share of women in areas where they are underrepresented, and therefore expressly encourages applications from such qualified individuals. This position will remain open until filled.

Comments:
Contact:
Please send your application letter with a CV, the contact details of two referees and a brief research interest statement to: Dr. Kornelius Kupczik, Max Planck Weizmann Center for Integrative Archaeology and Anthropology (kornelius_kupczik@eva.mpg.de). Please state in the subject heading ‘hominid dental ecology’ and whether you are interested in a PhD or a master’s project.

Contact Information:
Kompo, Christina
Deutscher Platz 6
Leipzig, none 04103
Germany

Telephone Number:
00493413550215

Website:
http://www.eva.mpg.de

E-mail Address:
kompo@eva.mpg.de

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