Social and environmental transitions: Simulating the past to understand human behaviour

Research Associate neededSocial and environmental transitions: Simulating the past to understand human behaviour. www.simulpast.esDuration of contract: September 2011- August 2015Duration of field work: January 2012-December 2012How and why hunter-gatherer groups persist in arid margins, in spite of available farming technology and proximity of an urban society? In other words, what are the key elements that characterise the differential adaptive performance in arid margin between hunter-gatherer and agriculturist societies? To answer the questions a group of archaeologists, computer scientists, and anthropologists will work together to collect archaeological and ethnographic data that will be used to calibrate potential scenarios through computer modelling. To carry out the ethnographic part of the study, a research associate is needed to work at the EthnoecologyLaboratory ( The research associate will be responsible for collecting data for the project and preparing it for analysis. Data collection would include a range of methods from participant observation, semi-structured interviews, mapping of the land and resources used to surveys on household economics, use of natural resources, and landscape management. Data would be collected during a 12-month period of field work among a semi-nomadic pastoralist society in Gujarat (NW India). The research associate could optionally register in the PhD program ofICTA-UAB ( Candidates should have an official master’s degree or a PhD in a relevant discipline (i.e., anthropology, ecology, geography) and be fluent in English. Proven ability to work in interdisciplinary and multicultural groups, courses in statistics and research methods, and/or fluency in Hindi and/or Gujarati will be strongly valued. Candidates should also be comfortable with the idea of living in harsh conditions (e.g., heat, mosquitoes, monotonous diet) and tolerance for bouts of medical problems common in the field (e.g., parasites). Candidates should also show interest to learn from other cultures. Previous field experience would be highly valued. If the candidate decides to opt for a PhD, s/he would be encouraged to pursue his/her own research plans and collect data for a dissertation.Contract terms: The contract terms will depend on the qualifications of the candidate. We offer a full time contract for four consecutive years (the first three-months will be a probation period) if the candidate has a master (about 1.200€/month). We offer a full time contract for 2.5 consecutive years (the first three-months will be a probation period) if the candidate has a PhD (about 1.800€/month). The research associate will be hired by UAB and they will work at theEthnoecology Laboratory, but in close collaboration with members of the SimulPast project ( Medical insurance and expenses while in the field associated with the project (i.e., translators) will also be paid for. The project will also cover two round-trips from Barcelona to the field site. Field work is scheduled to begin in January 2012, but familiarization with the project, the bibliography of the area, and coordination with other team members will start in September 2011. A first field trip for inspection will take place during October 2011.To apply: Interested candidates should contact Victoria Reyes-García ([email protected])by May 15, 2011 to receive full consideration. The application should include a letter of interest, a current CV, and a list of 2-3 professors familiar with the candidate that might write letters of recommendations (letters will only be asked for short-listed candidates). Candidates will be notified of the decision by June 15.This project is funded by the Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation through a CONSOLIDER-INGENIO 2010

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