Fossil Rodents in France

Like little Moroccan rodents and working in Paris? This is the job for you:

Post-doctoral position at the National Museum of Natural History UMR7205, Paris, France,

 Integrative approach of the 6th extinction in Morocco: systematic and evolution of modern and fossil rodent biodiversity thanks to classic and geometric morphometrics

 Duration: 12 month

Salary: 46800 € around (tax included) / year

 The question of the 6th extinction represents today a major problem at a global scale, and especially in coastal areas much vulnerable to strong human pressure. Since the emergence of the Neolithic culture associated with the increasing impact of humans on their environment, animals such as rodents have experienced extinctions, and numerous cases of invasions are encountered in this group. In order to better characterize the impact of climatic changes and anthropic pressure that induce the current loss of biodiversity, we need to study at a populational scale the past and present evolution of the species. The phylogeographic lineages have to be linked to the morphologic ones through an integrative approach. The Morroccan littoral sites are subjected to strong anthropic pressure and landscape modifications.They have yielded good palaeontological records through time (Upper Pleistocene – Holocene), in a good stratigraphic context, with numerous rodent remains. Based on the ANR-PEX04 MOHMIE project and the important modern and fossil material collected during recent field works, classic and geometric morphometrics analysis (teeth outlines, landmarks on skulls and mandibles) will be performed 1) on sequenced (mtDNA) and karyotyped specimens of Mus, Apodemus, Gerbillus (and perhaps Meriones), incorporating as much as possible holotypes and reference specimens in museum collections, and 2) on Upper Pleistocene and Holocene fossil specimens (caves of Témara, Morocco). Refinements of the methodology to follow the lineages and populations through time by combining morphometric data with genetic (DNA microsatellites) and (palaeo) environmental data will allow a better understanding of the history of the studied species and the impact of climate change and human pressure on them. A good experience in both Geometric morphometrics and North African small mammals represents a clear advantage.

 Contacts :

Christiane DENYS, MNHN Département Systématique et Evolution – CNRS UMR 7205, Laboratoire de Zoologie Mammifères et Oiseaux – CP 51, 55 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris. 

Thomas CUCCHI, MNHN Département Ecologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité – CNRS UMR 7209, Anatomie Comparée – CP 55, 55 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris. 

Roland NESPOULET, MNHN Département de Préhistoire – CNRS UMR 7194, Bâtiment de Géologie – CP 48, 43 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris. 



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