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Research Associate in Palaeoclimatic, Palaeoenvironmental and paleoseasonality reconstructions during MIS3 in Europe using stable isotope analysis on animal fossils at the University of Cantabria, Spain

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    Universidad de Cantabria
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
    19/07/2020 12:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Multiple locations, see work locations below.
    H2020 / ERC


The University of Cantabria and Instituto Internacional de Investigaciones Prehistóricas de Cantabria invites applications for a 3-year Research Associate holding a PhD in geochemistry, scientific (isotopic) archaeology, geology, earth science (palaeoclimate reconstruction), or related subjects. The aim of the project is to reconstruct palaeoclimatic, palaeoenvironmental and paleoseasonality conditions during the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in Southern European Peninsulas by analysing multi-isotopic values in archaeological animal bones (collagen) and teeth (carbonate and phosphate).

About SUBSILIENCE project

SUBSILIENCE is an ERC Consolidator Grant project (ref 818299) funded by the ERC Executive Agency (ERCEA) based at the University of Cantabria- IIIPC (Spain). Principal Investigator is Assistant Professor, Ana B. Marín-Arroyo, University of Cantabria, marinab@unican.es

The RA position is advertised within an ERC-Consolidator Grant (ref. 818299) funded by the ERC Executive Agency (ERCEA) on “Subsistence and human resilience to sudden climatic events in Europe during MIS3” (https://www.subsilience.eu/) undertaken by the supervisor. The main objective of this project is to evaluate the subsistence and resilience of Neanderthals and Anatomically Modern Humans to MIS3 climatic events, in different archaeological sites located in the southern European Peninsulas, dating from Mousterian to Gravettian periods.

The RA will be involved in the sampling, analysis and interpretation of isotopic data (δ13C, δ15N, δD, δ18O, δ34S, δ87Sr) obtained from faunal assemblages of several archaeological sites located in Iberia, Italy, Croatia and Serbia. Laboratory facilities for samples pre-treatment are available at the UC. Additional protocols will be developed in collaboration with Dr Kate Britton (University of Aberdeen) and Dr Tamsin O’Connell (University of Cambridge), during secondment research stays at these institutions. The RA will also process isotope data to relate them to past temperature and precipitation, in order to develop models that allow the reconstruction of the regional and local climatic conditions of the studied period.

The post-doctoral fellow will join a very dynamic scientific team at EvoAdapta (https://evoadapta.unican.es) and will work closely with international experts in stable isotope analysis, radiocarbon dating, zooarchaeology and human evolutionary studies.

More Information


We offer a full-time RA position for a period of 3 years. The fellow will receive a gross salary between 1,911 EUR/month to 2,230 EUR/month. S/he will receive all regular provisions for RA at UC, allocated office space, a laptop, and additional funding for research activities, including secondments at other institutions and attending conferences.

Selection process

The candidate must submit the application to Ana B. Marin-Arroyo (marinab@unican.es ) by 19th July at 12:00 PM – Brussels time including the following documentation:

  • Photocopy of the ID, passport or equivalent document.
  • Cover letter describing motivation for application and expressing previous relevant experience (max. one page).
  • CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position and list of publications.
  • Photocopy of the PhD and other degree certificates and transcript of records. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor will do.
  • Contact information for two academic referees.

The shortlisted candidates will be interviewed on the 22th July by videoconference. Short-listed applicants will be required to provide two letters of recommendation.

Additional comments

The University of Cantabria and Instituto Internacional de Investigaciones Prehistoricas de Cantabria (IIIPC) is an equal opportunity employer. The IIIPC is dedicated to the goal of reconstructing past human societies. Its diverse, distinguished staff is including researches specialized in Palaeolithic art, Palaeolithic and Mesolithic adaptations in Atlantic southern Europe, the Near Eastern origins of Neolithic farmers, south-American hunter-gatherers, bioarchaeology and paleoclimate. http://www.unican.es/iiipc/


Offer Requirements

    History: PhD or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Excellent
    SPANISH: Basic


The RA must hold a PhD in (Geo-)Chemistry, Geology, Isotope Archaeology, Earth Sciences or related subjects and will be financed annually for three years.

The RA will have:

  • a PhD in (Geo-)Chemistry, Isotope Archaeology, Earth sciences, or related fields that include considerable analytical (geo-)chemistry experience (forensics, plant sciences, soil sciences, etc.).
  • Knowledge in geochemistry applied to archaeological and palaeontological contexts.
  • Practical laboratory skills in sample preparation and analysis (ideally for geochemical isotopic analysis and mass spectrometry).
  • Experience of advanced analyses of isotopic data and/or modelling of climate data;
  • Ideally, knowledge of methods and tools of statistical analysis (e.g. R) and in managing large data sets.
  • Ability to write up research work for publication in high profile journals and engage in public dissemination.
  • Capacity to work independently and in a team, to lead on specific tasks and deliver on time under pressing deadlines.
  • Interest in working in a multidisciplinary environment.

The position is based on the University of Cantabria-IIIPC in Spain, with secondments at the Universities of Cambridge and Aberdeen in the UK. Starting date between early August-September 2020 or soon afterwards. Full-time position for 36 months.

Specific Requirements





Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Universidad de Cantabria
1 position(s) available at
University of Cambridge
United Kingdom
1 position(s) available at
University of Aberdeen
United Kingdom

EURAXESS offer ID: 535266


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