Post-Doc : Stable isotope-based palaeoenvironmental reconstruction (Oxford)

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We have an exciting opportunity to join a Leverhulme Trust funded project titled Agencies of behavioural change in early modern humans in NW Africa in the School of Archaeology as a Postdoctoral Researcher in Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction. The overall objective is to provide a first, high-precision interlinked record for understanding environmental conditions during the Middle Stone Age and how periods of increased climate instability may have impacted on behavioural developments in human societies. This project examines the potential impact of climate change on early modern humans over the last 300,000 years. The region chosen contains some of the earliest Homo sapiens fossils in Africa and lies on the NW edge of the Sahara in an area that experienced extreme environmental variability in this period. The project uses archaeological and environmental records from caves in Morocco and proxy evidence from continuous marine core records to test whether periods of increased environmental variability were linked to known phases of behavioural innovation in Middle Stone Age humans. You will determine stable oxygen isotope (δ18O) and carbon isotope (δ13C) values of microvertebrate tooth enamel to provide an independent proxy for past humidity and vegetation change and work with Dr Emmanuelle Stoetzel (CNRS and Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris) to explore changes in microvertebrate communities and species abundances as an additional proxy for paleoenvironmental change. This will include a short period of training in Dr Stoetzel’s lab in Paris. You will be reporting to Dr Amy Styring and Professor Nick Barton as PI of the project.

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