PhD Fellowship in Archaeoentomology

This job offer has expired

    Université de Bordeaux / University of Bordeaux
    Biological sciencesOther
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    01/05/2022 23:00 - Europe/London
    France › Talence


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

Insects are known for their vast biodiversity and high ecological specialization, thus placing them among the most relevant bio-indicators of environmental and climatic conditions. Entomofaunal assemblages preserved in archaeological contexts constitute high-quality markers of both paleoecology, and palaeoethnography as a witness of past societies lifestyles and practices. The archaeological sites of La Lède du Gurp and L'Amélie Nord (Gironde, France), located in a former swampy (humid and anaerobic) depression, have yielded very rich assemblages, with remarkably well-preserved arthropods dated from the Neolithic to the Late Antiquity. The advent of the Neolithic has induced local modifications of natural ecosystems, especially through human settlement, animal husbandry practices, and agriculture. This major tipping point in the human cultural evolution had a significant impact on the local biodiversity.

The PhD candidate will investigate insect remains to reconstruct local paleoenvironments and characterize the impact of human activities on the dynamics of terrestrial biodiversity. This doctoral research will bring unprecedented data on our understanding of the coevolution between insect groups tightly linked to human activities, the past human societies themselves, and the processes governing their interactions.


Adequacy of the PhD project with the objectives of the GRP

This PhD project fits within the objectives of WP2 “How did human societies interact with their environments?”. This doctoral research aims to assess (1) the impact of anthropization on local insect biodiversity, and (2) the changes resulting from the presence of human groups and their activities on the French Southwestern coastline. Expected results will provide a rare opportunity to better understand the emergence and the local evolution of entomofauna related to human activities. A main focus will concern the Neolithic Transition, involving the development of agriculture and animal husbandry, the management of animals and plants, the exploitation of salt, and the evolution of the local paleoenvironment in response to human activities.

More Information

Selection process

The candidate will submit their application, consisting of a letter of motivation (2 pages max.) and a CV (including list of publications, if applicable), to the supervisors mentioned in the job description, and to Adrien Pourtier (adrien.pourtier@u-bordeaux.fr), Francesco D'Errico (francesco.derrico@u-bordeaux.fr) and Adeline Le Cabec (adeline.le-cabec@u-bordeaux.fr), before January 30, 2022.

Additional comments

No specific risks or constraints. All the bioarchaeological material (insect remains) collected on both sites of La Lède du Gurp and plage Amélie is already available at PACEA and Ausonius laboratories (University of Bordeaux and University of Bordeaux Montaigne).


The PhD student will carry out his doctoral research at PACEA under the joint supervision of Jean-Bernard Huchet (PACEA) and Florence Verdin (Ausonius). The PACEA laboratory provides all the required equipment and facilities to carry out the analyses, such as stereomicroscopes, microscopes, a platform for processing archaeological material (i.e., sorting, flotation), a high-definition photographic digitization station, entomological reference collections). The PhD student will also be actively involved in participating to the yearly excavation conducted on both the sites of La Lède du Gurp and plage Amélie, to collect new archaeoentomological samples in situ in the course of the first two years of their PhD thesis.

Offer Requirements


The candidate must:

- hold a Master degree in Biogeoscience or Bioarchaeology (a specialization in the field(s) of entomology/archaeoentomology is highly desired).

- have a good knowledge of the anatomy, systematics, biology, ecology and biogeography of the groups of arthropods most frequently preserved in archaeological contexts, such as beetles (Coleoptera), flies (Diptera) and their immature stages.

- be able to define and implement a set of techniques to address research questions related to the history of natural and cultural interactions between arthropods and human societies (e.g., synanthropy, commensalism, parasitism), and the history of biodiversity, particularly in anthropogenic or anthropized environments.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Université de Bordeaux / University of Bordeaux
351 cours de la Libération

EURAXESS offer ID: 727882


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