PhD in Geography and Evolution - to examine the geography and evolution of land tenure systems and subsistence strategies across the globe

Страна: Германия;

Дедлайн: 31.07.2015



A research position for a

Ph.D. student

(m/f) is available at Colorado State University (CSU, USA) and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena (MPI SHH). The successful applicant will be expected to work with Michael Gavin (CSU) and Russell Gray (MPI SHH) to examine the geography and evolution of land tenure systems and subsistence strategies across the globe. This research is part of a joint project between the MPI SHH and CSU.

Human societies vary widely in the approaches used to manage natural resources. The funded project seeks to address long-standing debates in multiple academic disciplines (e.g., anthropology, geography, economics, and human behavioral ecology) regarding what factors shape the subsistence and land tenure systems used by societies across the globe, and to examine the evolutionary pathways of these natural resource management systems. The senior project personnel have, in recent years, adapted methods originally developed in biogeography and evolutionary biology to explore the factors that drive the evolution and geographic patterns of cultural diversity. In addition, the research group has developed a database that maps cultural features onto language family trees for over 1400 societies, and links these to ecological and environmental variables, empowering new lines of investigation into drivers of cultural change. The team is now uniquely positioned to conduct the first, integrated empirical tests of theories regarding the geography and evolution of natural resource management. The successful candidates will be based at Colorado State University and collaborate with researchers at MPI SHH and an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Field of Work
The successful candidate is expected to:
- play a key role in designing, implementing, completing and writing up analyses, and also complete project-related research and coordination tasks.
- apply for and be accepted to the PhD program in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at Colorado State University to begin starting in August 2015 or January 2016

Your qualifications
Selection will be made on a competitive basis using the following criteria:
- A strong academic background in cultural evolution, geography, anthropology, ecology, evolutionary biology or allied disciplines
- Some knowledge of research methods and statistical analyses used to examine spatial patterns of diversity and/or evolution (e.g., spatial models, GLM, and/or phylogenetic methods)
- Interest in studying in a program that emphasizes the application of social science theory to environmental issues and conservation.


Funding Notes:

Our offer
- full graduate tuition waiver and a monthly stipend
- valuable research experience as part of the education received in the doctoral program at CSU
- office space and computer facilities
- costs for research expenses and related travel will also be covered by the project

The position will be reviewed annually and, contingent upon performance and available funds, be appointed to additional years. Three years of potential funding is expected to be available.


Your application:
By July 31, 2015, please submit a letter of interest detailing how you meet each of the qualifications, curriculum vitae (indicating previous academic performance indicators, publication history, and prior research experience), and contact information for three references:
Kerstin Schück
MPI for the Science of Human History

For detailed information on the research project please contact
Dr. Michael Gavin
Colorado State University
E-mail: michael.gavin @