PHD OPPORTUNITIES

PhD PROJECTS

Applications are invited for students who wish to develop their MPhil and PhD projects as part of IN-AFRICA under the supervision of Dr Marta Mirazon Lahr, Prof Robert Foley, Dr Aurelien Mounier and Dr Alex Wilshaw. Successful students will receive support from the IN-AFRICA Project towards fieldwork, associated analyses, as well as access to unpublished hominin and animal fossils, lithic and bone prehistoric artefacts. IN-AFRICA collaborates with a number of scientists in allied disciplines, and projects targetting the environmental context of late Quaternary East African sites – focused on sedimentary, palaeobotanical and malacological topics for example, are also encouraged to apply.

Qualifications: Applicants should have a First or High 2.1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject (anthropology, archaeology, biology, palaeontology, geology); have some excavation or alternative field experience, and be keen to take part in the project’s fieldwork in Kenya and Uganda. Knowledge of Swahili and a driver’s licence are an advantage.

Applications: Interested students should contact Dr Marta Mirazon Lahr (mbml1@cam.ac.uk) in the first instance, with a CV and an idea for a project (not more than 2 pages) explaining its originality and why it would contribute to our understanding of the origins, history and adaptation of modern humans and modern human diversity in Africa. Applicants will need to apply to the Board of Graduate Studies of the University of Cambridge for formal admission to the University.

Deadline: students who wish to start their MPhil in October 2014 should apply before June; applications to do a PhD are considered throughout the year (with start dates in October, January and April), although funding opportunities are normally available to those wishing to start their PhD in October.

Some ideas for potential areas for PhD research within IN AFRICA:

  1. 3D reconstruction of human diversity in scapular morphology. Research field: HUMAN PALAEONTOLOGY
  2. Gait and lower-limb articulations in prehistoric hunter-gatherers. Research field: HUMAN PALAEONTOLOGY
  3. Experimental reconstruction of lithic diversity within MSA assemblages. Research field: PALAEOLITHIC ARCHAEOLOGY
  4. Sourcing of lithic raw materials in West Turkana. Research field: PALAEOLITHIC ARCHAEOLOGY
  5. Residue analyses of Middle Stone Age artefacts from West Turkana. Research field: ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE
  6. Hunting and butchering strategies in late Quaternary MSA and LSA populations of eastern Africa. Research field: ARCHAEOLOGY, TAPHONOMY
  7. Community ecology of the PalaeoTurkana lake shore – fauna diversity and adaptation. Research field: PALAEONTOLOGY
  8. Morphological variation in the size and shape of Middle Pleistocene to Holocene hippopotami of eastern Africa. Research field: PALAEONTOLOGY
  9. Morphological variability in late Quaternary East African crocodiles, with focus on slender-snout Euthecodon adaptation. Research field: PALAEONTOLOGY
  10. Turkana bone harpoons in the context of the African Aqualithic hypothesis. Research Field: ARCHAEOLOGY, BONE TECHNOLOGY
  11. The use of tooth enamel as raw material in prehistory. Research Field: ARCHAEOLOGY, BONE TECHNOLOGY