University Assistant (prae doc) at the Research Platform Mineralogical Preservation of the Human Biome from the Depth of Time

The University of Vienna (20 faculties and centres, 178 fields of study, approx. 9.800 members of staff, about 90.000 students) seeks to fill the position as soon as possible of a

University Assistant (prae doc) at the Research Platform Mineralogical Preservation of the Human Biome from the Depth of Time

Reference number: 11822

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 Geochemistry of ancient DNA-mineral interactions. 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.

Duration of employment: 4 year/s

Extent of Employment: 30.0 hours/week
Job grading in accordance with collective bargaining agreement: §48 VwGr. B1 Grundstufe (praedoc) with relevant work experience determining the assignment to a particular salary grade.

Job Description:
In this interdisciplinary project, the successful candidates will investigate the physico-chemical 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.

The successful candidate (advised by Prof. Kraemer, co-advised by Prof. Pinhasi) will synthesize a range of relevant mineral phases, use her*his expertise in mineral surface chemistry to study adsorption/co-precipitation of DNA with these mineral phases and elucidate the underlying reaction mechanisms. The student will investigate how well aDNA is protected from degradation in these assemblages. Methods will be developed to retrieve the aDNA by desoprtion or mineral dissolution reactions without compromising the fidelity of the aDNA. The student should have a strong background in geochemistry with interest in mineral formation, mineral surface reactions including sorption or co-precipitation. Participation in teaching as defined by the collective agreement is expected.
The successful candidate is expected to sign a doctoral thesis agreement within 12-18 months.

We offer an international, collaborative environment for research in ancient DNA geochemistry and genomics, with a highly competitive team and first-rate infrastructure. With 15 faculties, 4 centres, about 188 fields of study, approx. 9.400 members of staff and more than 90.000 students the University of Vienna offers various tools for career development including networks, conferences and participation in teaching. The candidate will have the opportunity to present his*her results in international journals and conferences.

For further information about the position, please contact Prof. Stephan Kraemer, (stephan.kraemer@univie.ac.at; http://edge.univie.ac.at/people/stephan-m-kraemer). Applications including a statement of research interests, a detailed Curriculum Vitae, and the names of two referees should be sent by e-mail to jobcenter@univie.ac.at or uploaded at the Job center. Applications are welcome until the position is filled. The starting date of the position can be negotiated

Profile:
We seek highly motivated individuals who aim to push boundaries in the field of mineral archives for Human Biome evolution. Applicants for the PhD student position should have a masters degree in a relevant field (e.g., Chemistry, Environmental Geochemistry, Applied geology, Mineralogy) and a creative, inquiring and enthusiastic personality. They must have the ability to work independently and in a team. Good English language skills are essential, German language skills are not required. Experiences in mineral surface chemistry are desirable. The University of Vienna intends to increase the number of women in research positions, and therefore specifically encourages applications by women. Among equally qualified applicants, women will receive preferential consideration.

Good English language skills are essential, German language skills are not required.

Applications including a letter of motivation (German or English) should be submitted via the Job Center to the University of Vienna ( http://jobcenter.univie.ac.at) no later than 24.03.2021, mentioning reference number 11822.

For further information please contact Pinhasi, Ron +43-1-4277-54721.

The University pursues a non-discriminatory employment policy and values equal opportunities, as well as diversity ( http://diversity.univie.ac.at/). The University lays special emphasis on increasing the number of women in senior and in academic positions. Given equal qualifications, preference will be given to female applicants.

Human Resources and Gender Equality of the University of Vienna
Reference number: 11822
E-Mail: jobcenter@univie.ac.at
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