• Description:

    Embark on a pioneering research journey exploring the evolution of brain metabolism within the human lineage. This scholarship offers a unique opportunity to delve into the intersection of paleontology, biological anthropology, and neuroscience, investigating the energetic costs that have shaped the human brain. Under the guidance of Dr. Amélie Beaudet at the PALEVOPRIM laboratory (UMR 7262, University of Poitiers & CNRS), this PhD position promises a stimulating environment for interdisciplinary inquiry.

    The fossil record reflects significant changes in the size, organization, shape, and development of hominins’ brains. However, our understanding of the evolutionary processes involved remains incomplete. This thesis project aims to investigate whether energetic costs may have constrained the nature and intensity of changes that have shaped the human brain. The candidate will employ an approach combining the study of modern humans and fossil hominins. They will examine and model variation in brain energy supply at both population (human evolution) and individual (ontogeny) levels. The candidate will study brain metabolism in modern humans using biological data (blood circulation, energy expenditure) and information on dietary behaviors. Physical and virtual measurements from 3D models will be conducted on current and fossil materials from osteological collections. Based on these data, the candidate will estimate the energy supply of fossil hominin brains, determine how energy consumption has evolved in the human lineage, and test possible correlations with documented major changes in the brain.

    €2135.00 per month


    1. Master’s degree in Paleontology, Biological Anthropology, or Neuroscience.
    2. Proficiency in 3D imaging methods, statistics, and comparative anatomy.
    3. Strong interest in evolutionary mechanisms and human physiology.
    4. Proficiency in written and oral English.
    5. Excellent teamwork skills.



  • Fields

    • Anthropology

    • Neuroscience

  • Qualifications

    • Master

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