PhD Position in the Palaeoenvironment of Early Humans in Central Asia
Uppsala University Department of Earth Sciences

PhD Student in the Palaeoenvironment Of Early Humans in Central Asia

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 45,000 students, more than 7,000 employees and a turnover of around SEK 7 billion.

The Department of Earth Sciences of Uppsala University is one of the most complete such academic departments in Europe. Our research focuses on subjects that range from the Earth’s core to the atmosphere, on scales from submicroscopic structures in minerals to the formation of mountains and oceans. We have teaching at undergraduate and graduate levels. Our courses offer a wide range within the geoscience area and several of the department"s programs have received the highest rating in evaluations by the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education (Högskoleverket) and the Swedish Higher Education Authority (Universitetskanslersämbetet).

The Programme for Air, Water, and Landscape Science encompasses education and research in meteorology, hydrology, environmental analysis, and physical geography.

Project and Duties: Central Asia is a key route for ancient human expansion out of Africa with early human migrants leaving behind stone tools in thick wind-blown dust (loess) deposits in Tajikistan, deposited over the last 2-3 million years. However, much remains unknown about the timing and environmental context associated with the first presence of modern humans and ancient hominins in Central Asia.

This PhD position is part of an exciting cross-disciplinary project, involving scientists from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Russia and Tajikistan, that will answer questions such as when did humans arrive in Central Asia and what was the environment and climate like at the time.

The PhD position will likely involve extended stays at one or more of the partner institutions. The successful candidate will be primarily responsible for developing and applying novel, quantitative past climate proxies and dust provenance records from loess at two key sites in Tajikistan. The successful candidate will be responsible for collecting, processing and analysing samples using multiple techniques such as clumped isotopes (Δ47), mineral magnetics and single grain provenance methods (e.g., detrital zircon U-Pb dating).

The project is supervised by Dr Thomas Stevens at the Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University and is funded by the Nordforsk Foundation. It will collaborate closely with PhD students and staff working at other Nordic/Russian/Tajik institutions on chronology, environment and archaeology.

Requirements: We are looking for a highly motivated candidate who has a broad interest in interdisciplinary Earth Sciences. The successful candidate should have a Master’s or corresponding degree in Earth Sciences or Geoarchaeology equivalent to 120 ECTS points, which should be obtained no later than one month before the start date. The applicant must be proficient in spoken and written English.

Additional qualifications: Evidence of good scientific writing skills is a merit, and the ranking of the candidates will also accord weight to evidence of analytical thinking, the ability to collaborate, as well as creativity, initiative, and independence. A background in loess studies or isotope geochemistry is not necessary but is considered a plus, and ability to work with R or MATLAB is advantageous.

The application should contain:

  • A Curriculum Vitae.
  • A verified list of course grades.
  • A cover letter stating your scientific interests and what motivates you to apply for this position.
  • Your degree project/thesis (finished or in draft form).
  • Contact details (incl. email and telephone number) of two references.

The candidates will be short listed basted on the materials in the application, the top ranked candidates will be interviewed digitally and the references will be collected.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines.

More about being a PhD student at the department.

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students.
Starting date: 01-09-2021 or as otherwise agreed.

Type of employment: Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7.

Scope of employment: 100 %.

For further information about the position please contact: Thomas Stevens,

Please submit your application by 10 May 2021, UFV-PA 2021/1291.

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Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services.

Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Earth Sciences

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: ST/TCO
Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2021/1291

Last application date: 2021-05-10

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