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Research Associate in Sedimentary aDNA analysis

Based at
University of York - King's Manor, York city centre
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
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Role Description

A fixed term postdoctoral appointment of 24 months to start on 19 March 2019 is available in the Department of Archaeology, to support the AHRC funded project “Protohistoric to Medieval pastoralism in the Western Alps: The origins and development of long-distance transhumance”.

The vacancy is for a sedimentary aDNA (environmental microbiologist) specialist, to carry out research and assess evidence for the impact of pastoralism in the Western Alps. In particular, the identification of vegetation change associated with pastoral activity and the appearance of domesticated species in high altitude areas.

You will participate in the production and dissemination of project results via academic papers and public outreach. Experience in, or commitment to public outreach is a high priority for the project.

At York you will join a multi-disciplinary team combining Archaeology and Chemistry. You will work closely with the project Director, Dr Kevin Walsh, Charline Giguet-Covex (CNRS, EDYTEM, Chambery, France), Dr David Orton (York, Bioarchaeology) and Professor Alistair Pike (Archaeology, Southampton).

You will be based in BioArCh and the main Archaeology Department at the King’s Manor, York, an internationally renowned department for Archaeology and Bioarchaeology, but will be expected to undertake research for short periods in France.

Skills, Experience and Qualification needed

You will have a PhD or equivalent experience, preferably in molecular biology or environment/palaeoenvironmental research including sedimentary DNA analyses.

You should demonstrate knowledge of molecular biology and environment/palaeoenvironmental research (DNA analyses) with a view to engaging in high quality research. You should be able to demonstrate competency in modern laboratory methods in molecular biology and environment/palaeoenvironmental research and have experience of working in microbiological/aDNA laboratory.  Competency in modern laboratory methods in sedimentary DNA analyses, experience of sampling sediments for aDNA and competency in data analysis would be desirable.

You should have experience of carrying out both independent and collaborative research and a proven ability to work as part of a team and also to work independently using own initiative. You should be able to demonstrate attention to detail, a commitment to producing work of high quality, a collaborative ethos, interest in and enthusiasm for the subject matter of the project(s), a positive attitude to colleagues and students and a willingness to work proactively with colleagues in other work areas/institutions. You should be able to plan and prioritise your own work in order to meet deadlines, including using initiative to plan research programmes. You should be committed to personal development and updating of knowledge and skills.  You should show a willingness to travel to various locations in the UK and abroad in order to collect/analyse samples.

Basic knowledge of European/Northern Mediterranean Archaeology from Iron Age – to Medieval and the ability to read/speak/write French would be desirable.

Informal enquiries may be made to Dr Kevin Walsh (


Recruitment ref: 6970

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