The Department of Archaeology and the Department of Archaeogenetics at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena is offering a two-year postdoc position in Anthropology and Ethnoarchaeology as part of the Max Planck Society Donor’s Award funded project ‘Heirloom Microbes: The History and Legacy of Ancient Dairying Bacteria’. Combining archaeology, microbiology, food science, and cultural anthropology, this project seeks to characterize and understand the role of microbial organisms in traditionally-prepared dairy products from Germany, Mongolia, and Jordan, as well as understand past and present dairying practices in each of these regions. This project will be supervised by Prof Dr Christina Warinner and Dr Jessica Hendy.
The Anthropology of Dairying
This postdoc position will document and analyse traditional dairying practices in Germany, Mongolia and Jordan, with a particular emphasis on the role of processing techniques and microbial fermentation on these products. This project will have four main components:
1) Perform ethnographic observation and interviews, documenting contemporary small scale and household dairy production in Germany, Mongolia, and Jordan
2) Collect samples of dairy products and production materials
3) Coordinate with project collaborators at the MPI-SHH and partner laboratories on the nutritional, microbiological, and molecular characterization of traditional dairy products and production materials
4) Conduct public engagement activities, including the return results to participant communities, as well as local and international public outreach
Additional responsibilities include supervision of graduate students, and optional opportunities are also available to teach in the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS).
- Have or are about to obtain a PhD degree in Anthropology, Archaeology, Nutrition Science, or related subject.
- Training and experience in anthropological or ethnographic fieldwork
- Strong knowledge of English and German
- Strong organizational skills
- An interest in milk and dairy production
- Experience with archaeological fieldwork, archaeological science, or experimental archaeology
- Experience with applying for and obtaining ethics review board approval for ethnographic fieldwork
- Experience with government paperwork for sample collection, export, and import
- Intermediate knowledge of Russian, Arabic, or Mongolian
- Experience with interacting with large scientific teams
- Are passionate about the study of the human past, and looking for an opportunity to push the boundaries of new methods and come up with novel approaches for examining archaeological remains
- Are keen to explore how archaeology intersects with other disciplines, in particular anthropological, biomolecular, quantitative and linguistic approaches
- Have an strong academic record
- Are enthusiastic and hard-working
- Have excellent English writing skills
Additional Salary Information: Salary depends on qualifications and experience. In addition, social benefits are paid according to the regulations of the Civil Service.
About Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Department of Archaeogenetics
The Department of Archaeogenetics (DAG) utilizes the recent advances in molecular approaches on biomolecules, such as stable isotope research and genome wide DNA sequencing, to uncover an entirely new spectrum of information that can be retrieved from sample repositories such as anthropological and archaeological collections. It is now possible to obtain detailed i...nformation about genetic relationships, geographical origin, selective processes or genetic structure of historical and prehistorical human, plant, animal or even pathogen populations using only miniscule samples.