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The proposed research project is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, as part of the interdisciplinary Ambizione project, entitled “The when and the where of colour: tailored radiocarbon and stable isotope analysis of natural organic dyes and pigments in cultural heritage objects”. The novelty of this project is to develop new metrics for assessing the origin of an artwork founded on the principles that i) the carbon backbone of natural organic dyes stores a wealth of information regarding its source and origin and ii) this information may be retrieved by capitalizing on compound specific analysis as opposed to bulk sample analysis. The diversity of cultural heritage objects, the respective hierarchical complexity of the samples removed and the sample size limitations with respect to precious and rare art artefacts requires innovative, inter- and multi-disciplinary approaches. Within the project team, as a doctoral student your research will focus on painting materials. By drawing on the knowledge gained from art technology research and advances in compound specific isotope analyses, you will develop a methodology to selectively 14C date the natural organic lake and paint binder within the same microsample. The identification of key markers in glycerolipidic, waxy, resinous and proteinaceous materials will allow to investigate case studies in collaboration with different heritage institutions worldwide. Rooted in the chemistry department of HEIA-FR, you will work closely with the Laboratory for the Analysis of Radiocarbon (LARA) at the University of Bern, where you will be enrolled as doctoral student in the research group of Prof. Dr. Szidat, within the Graduate Schools of Climate Sciences or Chemistry and Molecular Sciences.

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