The University of Vienna research platform MINERVA (Mineralogical Preservation of the Human Biome from the Depth of Time) including the research groups Evolutionary Anthropology, Environmental Geochemistry and Computational Systems Biology invites applications for a PhD position in ancient DNA genomics. The sorption or co-precipitation of ancient DNA (aDNA) with mineral phases and the protection of aDNA in these assemblages potentially provides an archive of human evolution of unprecedented fidelity. Paleo-metagenomic approaches promise to shed light on not only human evolution but also the co-evolution of the human-associated microbiome including pathogens. In this interdisciplinary project, the successful candidate will investigate the geochemical mechanisms by which minerals capture and preserve aDNA, they will develop methods by which aDNA can be retrieved from such mineral assemblages, and they will use these methods to analyse aDNA from mineral assemblages recovered from archaeological sites to study human evolution and the co-evolution of the human biome.
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University of Vienna website