M/F Phd Student In Geography/Geomorphology

Universities and Institutes of France
September 27, 2022
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Temporary
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Job Ref.:N/A
  • Organisation/Company: CNRS
  • Research Field: Anthropology Environmental science History
  • Researcher Profile: First Stage Researcher (R1)
  • Application Deadline: 27/09/2022 23:59 - Europe/Brussels
  • Location: France › THIAIS
  • Type Of Contract: Temporary
  • Job Status: Full-time
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Offer Starting Date: 01/11/2022
  • The student will be registered at the Doctoral School of Geography of the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and will be mainly attached to the Laboratory of Physical Geography (UMR 8591 CNRS-University Paris 1-UPEC) in Thiais (tram T7 - stop Bretagne). The LGP's research interests lay at the interface between Earth (geomorphology, geology), Life (ecology and biology) and Social Sciences (geography, archeology). The research carried out at the LGP is both fundamental and applied as it deals with the reconstruction of the Quaternary paleoenvironments, the historical evolution of hydrological systems, the analysis of biodiversity, the effects of climate change on the environment and the dynamics of natural hazards.

    At the LGP, the student will be supervised by Julie Dabkowski (CR CNRS), a specialist in quaternary sciences and in calcareous tufas. This PhD is co- directed by François Bétard (MCF, Université Paris Cité) who is a geographer-geomorphologist and specialist in the conservation and valorization of geo-heritage and bio-heritage. Through this co-direction, the student will also benefit from exchanges with the PRODIG laboratory (https: // www. prodig.cnrs.fr/). Moreover, the project is based on numerous multidisciplinary collaborations, in particular with the MNHN Isotope Mass Spectrometry Service (SSMIM), the EDYSAN laboratory (UMR 7058 CNRS-UPJV), the CNRA Luxembourg and the University of Liege.

    TUFAnthrop project: Impacts of human activities on European river environments during the Anthropocene and the Holocene: calcareous tufas as a new archive of anthropisation", funded by the DIM PAMIR (Ile-de-France).

    The preservation and the development of the natural heritage is a major stake today, with numerous economic repercussions, for example in the field of tourism. Calcareous tufas constitute particularly prized landscapes, sometimes spectacular, which are the subject of heritage inventories (ZNIEFF, INPG), environmental protection measures (ENS, APPG, Natura 2000, nature reserves, national parks) and international labeling (World Heritage of Humanity, Biosphere Reserve, UNESCO World Geoparks, e.g. Plitvice Lakes in Croatia, Jiuzhaigou Valley in China). Tufas are carbonate rocks that form near springs or in rivers. Like all fluvial environments, they are extremely sensitive to environmental modifications, whether they are linked to climatic changes or to anthropic modifications. In Europe, a tufa decline has been demonstrated during the Holocene, attributed to the development of human activities, in particular to deforestation, to agricultural then industrial water pollution, to developments modifying their dynamics (canalisation, dams, mills) and finally to urbanisation (Goudie et al., 1993; Dabkowski, 2020). However, the exact mechanisms of this decline are still widely debated.

    Tufas have been recognized for several decades as key archives for the joint (and independent) reconstructions of paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic dynamics during the Pleistocene and Holocene interglacials thanks to systematic multidisciplinary approaches combining stratigraphy, isotope geochemistry and paleontology, in particular malacology (Limondin-Lozouet et al., 2013; Dabkowski et al., 2019; Granai et al., 2020). In contrast, few if any sedimentological, biological, or geochemical markers of anthropogenic activities have been developed in tufas. The main objective of this PhD will therefore be to establish calcareous tufas as a new key-archive of the anthropization of fluvial environments through the development of new specific methodological approaches and thus enable the detailed documentation of human- climate-environment interactions in Europe during the middle to recent Holocene. A detailed knowledge of the effects of environmental changes and human activities on the development of calcareous tufas will in turn allow better protection and valorization of still active formations, especially in Ile-de-France.

    Methods This project is articulated around two complementary methodological approaches in order to 1) document in detail the spatio-temporal dynamics of tufa decline in relation to the dynamics of occupation and the development of human activities in different geomorphological and anthropization contexts and 2) precisely trace the effects of these activities in reference sequences and their link with Holocene environmental and climatic changes.

    The study area includes the northern half of France, the Belgian Ardenne and Luxembourg: a geologically coherent territory (the Paris Basin and its margins) and already well documented from the archaeological point of view and the dynamics of fluvial spaces during the Holocene. Concerning the calcareous tufas, previous inventories have allowed to discuss their chronological distribution (Goudie et al., 1993; Dabkowski, 2020) or spatial distribution (Pentecost, 1995).

    The first part of this doctoral project will therefore focus on crossing these two dimensions by integrating these data into a Geographic Information System (GIS) that will notably allow the construction of maps of tufa distribution (initially on a regional scale) at different given periods. This spatio- temporal approach of the evolution of tufas will allow to verify if the decline followed or not a homogeneous trajectory on the scale of the northwest of Europe. These maps will then be compared with the major dynamics of occupation and use of the territories since the Neolithic. Active tufas (still in formation) will also be integrated into this database, as a current reference of their distribution according to the occupation of the territory (urbanization, agriculture, industry, etc.). In the Paris Basin, several tufa sequences have already partly delivered continuous and well-dated paleoenvironmental records, covering all or part of the Holocene, such as the Annevoie and Orval tufas in Belgium (Coûteaux, 1969; Geurts, 1976) and, more recently, the Direndall tufa in Luxembourg, which is the only one to have also delivered paleoclimatic data (Dabkowski et al., 2015; Granai et al., 2020). Research of this type has also been initiated in recent years in Prettingen (Luxembourg) and in the Somme Valley, downstream from Amiens (in conjunction with the ArchéoFen project). These different regions have also yielded numerous well-documented archaeological sites attesting to the presence and activity of humans from Protohistory to the present day. In addition to agricultural activity and increasing urbanization, Belgium and Luxembourg have also been marked since the Bronze Age by significant metallurgical activity, while the tuffs and peat bogs of the Somme valley have long been exploited. Active tufas located in Île-de-France (Orgeval, Gif-sur-Yvette) also offer potential in this field; they will be integrated into the study sites and will serve as an actualist reference to understand the links between geomorphology, hydro(geo)logy, vegetation cover and land use.

    The second part of this PhD proposes to develop sedimentological (C/N ratio, silicates, micro-charcoal concentration) and geochemical (concentration of metallic trace elements, nitrates, arsenic, phosphorus) markers applied to the tufas for the reconstruction of the dynamics of anthropization of the environments. This multidisciplinary approach will be carried out by the PhD student on the French, Belgian and Luxembourg reference sites mentioned above, from the field (geomorphology, stratigraphy) to the laboratory (preparations and analyses, development of new protocols). He or she will also be in charge of isotopic analyses allowing the reconstruction of climatic variations and will then combine his or her results with paleoenvironmental data from the study of bioindicators within the framework of collaborations (notably with malacologists from LGP). This research will allow a precise discussion of the human-environment-climate interactions recorded at each site and then, by comparison, at the regional and Paris Basin scale. The new data collected will also feed the first part (GIS database) of the project and will allow to discuss the results with more precision.

    In view of the required skills, it is expected that the candidates have a master's degree in Geography or Geology (or a related discipline) and already have a solid experience on the field (geomorphology, stratigraphy) AND of GIS tools. General knowledge of Quaternary or at least Holocene paleoenvironments/paleoclimates is also required. Good writing and communication skills, especially in English, will be valued.

    Web site for additional job details

    https: // emploi.cnrs.fr/Offres/Doctorant/UMR8591-JULDAB-001/Default.aspx

    Required Research Experiences
  • History

  • None

  • Anthropology

  • None

  • Environmental science

  • None

    Offer Requirements
  • History: Master Degree or equivalent

    Anthropology: Master Degree or equivalent

    Environmental science: Master Degree or equivalent

  • FRENCH: Basic

    Contact Information
  • Organisation/Company: CNRS
  • Department: Laboratoire de Géographie Physique : Environnements Quaternaires et Actuels
  • Organisation Type: Public Research Institution
  • Website: https: // www. lgp.cnrs.fr/
  • Country: France
  • City: THIAIS
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