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Postdoc position in Ancient human population genomics – Aarhus university, Denmark

Aarhus University (AU), Denmark

Applications are invited for a 2-year position in the field of population genomics at the Bioinformatics Research Centre, Aarhus University, Denmark.

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General Info

Position: Post doc position
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: ,
Joining Date: Jan 01, 2022
Contract Period: 2 Years
Salary: According to Standard Norms

Bioinformatics Research Center
Aarhus University
Aarhus University (AU)
Aarhus C, Denmark

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Qualification Details

Applicants should hold a PhD in population genetics or similar. The applicant shall demonstrate thorough publication record

  • Experience in analysing large scale sequence data on a HPC system
  • Proficiency in python or R programming
  • Experience with international collaboration
  • Familiarity with population genetics principles and their application to evolutionary inference

Responsibilities/Job Description

The post doc will undertake methods development and large scale sequence analysis for inference of ancient human population processes from the Neanderthal legacy of all non-African human populations. This is a large-scale extension of the research idea put forward in the publication Macia et al. 2021. The study will be in collaboration with archaeologists and anthropologists, and is funded by the Villum Foundation as a Villum Experiment with the following purpose (Macià, M. C., Skov, L., Peter, B. M. & Schierup, M. H. Different historical generation intervals in human populations inferred from Neanderthal fragment lengths and mutation signatures. Nat Commun 12, 5317 (2021).)

Large scale sequencing of modern and ancient human genomes has taught us about human movements across the world over the past 60,000 years, but little about how they lived. This has been the domain of archaeology and anthropology. We propose that extant and ancient genomes contain time-resolved information about the ages of reproduction of fathers and mothers. These key parameters illuminate how cultural practices evolved over time and space, e.g. whether a society was patriarchal or matriarchal, agriculturalists or hunter-gatherers, nomadic or sessile, living in harsh or accommodating conditions. The reason they can be inferred is that genetic recombination breaks the genome into independent pieces. It is a regular process that counts the number of generations passed over a time span. Specifically, I will use how the size distribution of genomic fragments from Neanderthals​ and Denisovans​ changes over time and superimpose this inference on human history. We will validate the approach on historical data when cultural practices are known and then use it to infer for which there is less information. We will perform large scale computational analyses and collaborate with archaeologists and anthropologists to draw unique conclusions about human culture.

How to Apply?

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Documents Required

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

About the Project/Department

The research group of Mikkel Heide Schierup in evolutionary genomics is located at the Bioinformatics Research Centre, which hosts around 30 people (permanent, post docs and PhD students) concerned with bioinformatics methods development and application to large scale sequence data


About the Employer: Aarhus University (AU)

Note or Other details

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities.

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

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Contact details

For further information, please contact: professor Mikkel Heide Schierup, PH 27782889, email

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