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The position is funded by the ERC Advanced Grant “BACKWARD - Overcoming the Frontiers of Biomolecular Studies on Human History and Adaptation Using Palaeoproteomics” awarded to Enrico Cappellini. BACKWARD aims to advancing knowledge about the evolution and variation of hominin and other mammalian species that went extinct millions of years ago, by developing new MS-based palaeoproteomic methods to retrieve and sequence proteins from palaeoanthropological and paleontological remains, beyond the limits of ancient DNA preservation. We strive for advancing palaeoproteomic research by increasing the recovery of ancient protein traces from older and older palaeoanthropological and paleontological fossil remains originating from geographic areas and geological contexts unfavourable to biomolecular preservation. As part of this common goal, your tasks would be to design, test and deploy innovative MS workflows for palaeoproteomics, integrating the most advanced instrumentation in close collaboration with the proteomic research group led by Prof Jesper V. Olsen, at CPR. Specifically, you will mainly focus on establishing novel MS methodologies to: (i) maximise ancient protein recovery from fossil bone and tooth specimens generally older than 1 million years, and (ii) screen large sets of morphologically non-informative isolated fossil fragments of bones and teeth, to identify the species and sex of the organism from which they originated.

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