Quaternary African Palaeontology Research Associate (Fixed Term)

University of Cambridge

United Kingdom

September 28, 2022


Quaternary African Palaeontology Research Associate (Fixed Term)

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 36 months in the first instance.

Applications are invited for a 36-month Research Associate in QUATERNARY AFRICAN PALAEONTOLOGY on the NG'IPALAJEM Project, funded by the ERC. The project aims at exploring Pleistocene human evolution in East Africa and contextualise our lineage ecologically and chronologically as part of a broader and longer African evolutionary landscape. The project is led by Prof. Marta Mirazón Lahr. Further information about the project and its collaborative partners can be found at: https: // www. palaeotrails.org/current- projects/ngipalajem/

As part of the NG'IPALAJEM team, the successful candidate will contribute to both project-wide and role-specific tasks. In terms of the project, he/she will assist the PI in (1) the running of the project; (2) the implementation of the project's research, communication and scientific strategy; (3) the development of the project's database(s); and (4) participate in all of the project's fieldwork in the Turkana Basin, contributing to both its preparation and implementation. In relation to role- specific responsibilities, he/she will be expected to (1) take a leading role on the palaeontological field exploration and interpretation of the new Turkana localities, (2) work on the description and analysis of the faunal remains discovered, (3) establish their taxonomic and ecomorphological diversity through time, and (4) carry out comparisons to other Quaternary African faunas in order to explore regional and inter-regional patterns of change in Pleistocene East African ecological communities. Besides scientific writings, he/she will also be expected to contribute to the writing of reports and the supervision of student projects working in association with the project.

Key essential skills include (1) a PhD degree in palaeontology/palaeoanthropology or evidence that a PhD thesis has been submitted and/or will be obtained soon after starting the post-doctoral fellowship; (2) a research record and experience in African palaeontology or other relevant palaeontological study; (3) familiarity and experience with methods of 3D morphometric capture and analysis; (4) experience in anatomical description of fossil specimens; (5) evidence of strong quantitative skills; and (6) evidence of ability to synthesise and systematise data. Familiarity with aspects of Pleistocene African palaeoecology, prehistory and human palaeontology, knowledge of other languages (particularly of Swahili), experience with relational databases, and a valid driver's licence are desirable skills.

The successful applicant will be based at the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, and be prepared to spend time abroad - for the project's fieldwork in Turkana, and in museums, particularly NMK, for the collection of data.

Starting date: As soon as possible after appointment and no later than 1st December 2022. Interviews of selected candidates will be held online in early October.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

We particularly welcome applications from women and/or candidates from a BME background for this vacancy as they are currently under-represented at this level in our department.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Applications should include a cover letter, a CV, and the name and email of two referees.

All enquiries should be addressed to: Prof. Marta Mirazón Lahr, mbml1@cam.ac.uk

Please quote reference JC32953 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information
  • Further Particulars
  • Department/Location

    McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research








    31 August 2022

    Closing date

    28 September 2022