Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The origins of human settlement: Mainz University coordinates a new EU project for young researchers

27.06.2012
Junior researcher Zuzana Fajkošová passes international selection procedure and begins her doctorate in the Palaeogenetics Group at the JGU Institute of Anthropology

"BEAN – Bridging the European and Anatolian Neolithic" is the name of a new multinational educational network which has received funding from the European Commission for the next four years. It is classified as a so-called Initial Training Network (ITN) in the EU Marie Curie Actions program, which allows young scientists early access to research activity at top international institutions. A basic requirement for funding is that the researchers involved leave their home country and conduct their research in another European country.

The BEAN Network consists of several European partners in England, Switzerland, France, Germany, Serbia, and Turkey, and has set itself the goal of enhancing the skills of a new generation of researchers in the subjects of anthropology, pre-history, population genetics, computer modeling, and demography. Many different disciplines are participating in the initiative. An important associate partner on the German side is the German Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden. The common focus of the project partners centers around questions associated with the origin of first farmer settlements, which were established some 8,000 years ago in West Anatolia and the Balkans. Where did they come from? Were they migrants from the Middle East? Are they our ancestors?

Anthropologists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have been meticulous in their preparation of the project over the last years and have entered into various cooperations to underpin it. Seven research institutions and two commercial companies are now working together on the BEAN project. Two leading researchers serve the network in an advisory capacity. These are archaeologist Ian Hodder from Stanford, who established his reputation with his excavations in Catal Höyük, and Hermann Parzinger, President of the Prussian Cultural History Foundation, who spent many years excavating and researching in European Turkey.

As of July 2012, doctoral candidate Zuzana Fajkošová, who completed her undergraduate studies at Masaryk University in Brno and at Charles University in Prague in the Czech Republic, will be the first of two BEAN researchers to start work at JGU's Institute of Anthropology and in the new palaeogenetic laboratory, which is currently in the final stages of construction on the edges of the university's Botanic Garden. She will analyze DNA from the bones of the last hunter-gatherers and the first settled farmers in the region between West Anatolia and the Balkans using the new cutting-edge technology of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). Together with her colleagues in Dublin, London, and Geneva, she will use the genomic data to compile a model for the settlement of Europe.

"It is both a great honor and a huge opportunity for me that I can work together with such renowned researchers. I'm looking forward to Mainz, the university and the institute's new building," comments Fajkošová, who turned down a number of other offers in order to work at JGU. "A major factor leading to her appointment was the fact that besides mastering biomolecular techniques she also has good programming skills,” explains Professor Dr. Joachim Burger, the Network Coordinator. "A few years ago we more or less founded the discipline of Neolithic Palaeogenetics single-handedly. However, undertaking genomic projects is possible only with the help of international colleagues. That is why we are so pleased that such networks give us and our colleagues the chance to train young research talents."

Besides academic training, the young researchers will be able to do practical work for the two commercial companies within the network and thereby gain work experience in a non-university environment. "This is important as not all of the candidates will opt for a pure research career," explains Karola Kirsanow, who moved from Harvard to Mainz last year and now administrates the network together with Burger. "Our young colleagues have to attend many workshops, courses, and internships, most of them abroad. While this makes for a very tough program, we believe that it significantly enhances the quality of the training and similarly enhances candidates' career prospects."

Petra Giegerich | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-mainz.de/eng/15471.php
http://www.uni-mainz.de/FB/Biologie/Anthropologie/MolA/English/Home/Home.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Bare bones: Making bones transparent
27.04.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Link Discovered between Immune System, Brain Structure and Memory
26.04.2017 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>