Submitted: 28 April 2022
Department: De la Préhistoire à l’Actuel : Culture, Environnement et Anthropologie - PACEA UMR 5199
Institution: Univ. Bordeaux, France
Job type: Postdoc
Apply by: 4 July 2022
Application email: [email protected]

The GPR ‘Human Past’: our group and our research The GPR (Grand Programme de Recherche) ‘Human Past’ is an interdisciplinary research project supported by the University of Bordeaux's Initiative d’Excellence. ‘Human Past’ gathers ~110 researchers from 3 laboratories (PACEA, AUSONIUS, and Archéosciences Bordeaux) affiliated with the University of Bordeaux (UB) and the University of Bordeaux Montaigne (UBM). Our expertise combines Biological Anthropology, Classical and Medieval Archaeology, Prehistory, Protohistory, History, Epigraphy, Archaeometry, Geochronology and Computer Science Applications to Cultural Heritage. ’Human Past’ aims to document, characterize and understand the tipping points that have induced major biological and cultural changes within past human populations. Spanning a large chronological period (from Prehistory to historical times), our research aims to identify the steps that enabled a primate originally adapted to African ecosystems to evolve into a species that occupies and impacts every ecosystem on the planet. Biological and social systems will be scrutinized at different scales from a multitude of perspectives with particular attention paid to phenotypic and genetic variability, cognition, technology, social organization, belief systems, and genetic and cultural adaptive strategies that drive human societies. This position advertisement belongs to the first part of the funding scheme, planned for 4 years.

Project description Several diseases/syndromes (e.g., Fiboblast Growth Factor Receptors –FGFR– related craniosynostosis syndromes, Down syndrome, mucopolysaccharidosis) are associated with respiratory issues, such as obstructive sleep apnea involving soft tissue structures among which the tongue, the soft palate, the naso- and oropharynx, the larynx, and associated bone structures (i.e., the facial skeleton, the mandible, the hyoid bone, the cranial base). The study of these syndromes represents an opportunity to better understand the relationships between these different anatomical elements and their role in respiration. Additionally, the precise description and quantification of both normal and pathological variations of these structures might help to better diagnose and follow-up the aforementioned diseases. Finally, it allows to understand how a vital function such as respiration, influences the evolution of the skull. The present project will use computed tomography (CT) images of patients diagnosed with syndromes such as FGFR-related craniosynostosis syndromes, Down syndrome, mucopolysaccharidosis, and other syndromes with skeletal dysmorphologies/dysplasia and respiratory insults. The postdoc fellow will (1) use morphometric techniques to quantify the morphological variation of the structures of interest, and (2) look for biomarkers of these diseases in the region of the upper airways. The CT images will be collected and communicated to us by colleagues from different hospitals in France, Spain, and Colombia.

Adequacy of the postdoc project with the objectives of the GPR Diseases caused by genetic/genomic anomalies and the associated phenotypes form one entry point to the study of the correspondence between the genotype and phenotype, which is the core of the WP1 “What mechanisms have affected genetic and phenotypic diversity in human and animal communities?” of the GPR Human Past. The tipping point investigated in the present project is “How did functional constraints linked to respiration drive hominin evolution?”

Skills/Qualifications The candidate must: - hold a PhD in biological Anthropology or in computer Sciences/Image processing - have experience in cranial anatomy, imaging technics and analysis (CT, MRI), morphometrics, multivariate statistics. Familiarity with handling imaging data is essential - have demonstrated abilities in presenting research results in international academic contexts and publishing papers in international peer-reviewed scientific journals

Selection process The candidate will submit their application, consisting of a letter of motivation (2 pages max., specifically focusing on explaining why they think their expertise and CV match those required for the positon) and a CV (including list of publications), to the supervisors mentioned in the job description, and to Romane Gracia ([email protected]), Francesco d'Errico ([email protected]) and Adeline Le Cabec ([email protected]), before July 4, 2022.

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