The University of Rome Tor Vergata and the Department of Biology

The University of Rome “Tor Vergata” was founded in 1982. The University campus stretches on 600 hectares, the largest in Italy, and hosts important research institutions, such as CNR and the Italian Space Agency – ASI. The Institution ranks among the Top 100 of the best young universities in the world according “The Young University Rankings 2021” by the Times Higher Education. The Department of Biology offers to students and researchers the appropriate interdisciplinary research training to enrich the plurality of knowledge. The Scientific Board is made of experts of various scientific fields and the research opportunities range from Anthropology to Biochemistry, Botany, Ecology, Genetics, Microbiology, Parasitology, Physiology and Zoology. The Department also offers state-of-the-art equipment to ensure advanced research in multidisciplinary fields. Link to the official website: http://bio.uniroma2.it/


The Centre of Molecular Anthropology for Ancient DNA studies

The Centre of Molecular Anthropology for Ancient DNA studies in the Department of Biology is headed by Prof. Olga Rickards, expert of human evolution and one of the pioneers of biomolecular archaeology in Italy. The Centre features state-of-the-art dedicated laboratories for aDNA and stable isotope analyses, offering the ideal conditions to support the fellows that will be involved in this research. The aDNA laboratory was built in 2013 in the monumental complex ‘Villa Mondragone’, and consists of individual ‘cleanroom quality’ working spaces (ancient sample pretreatment, milling, DNA extraction, genomic library and PCR set-up fully equipped rooms). Modern DNA and post-PCR laboratories are available in separate buildings at the Department of Biology. Dedicated facilities are available for collagen extraction and for preparation of samples for isotope ratio analysis. Supercomputing infrastructure for high-throughput sequence data analysis is provided by the computational infrastructure of Cineca, one of the Large-Scale Facilities in Europe and among the most powerful available in the world. Link to the official website: http://bio.uniroma2.it/dna-antico/


The Archaeozoology lab at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

The Natural History Museum at Brussels hosts more than 250 scientists working in a wide range of disciplines from biology to geology, oceanography to taxonomy and palaeontology to ecology. The Archaeozoology laboratory is part of the programme of Quaternary Environments and Humans and investigates human-animal relationships in the past. The research into human subsistence strategies through time focusses on topics such as domestication of animals, the reconstruction of animal husbandry, hunting and fishing techniques, seasonality and trade relationships. This research, carried out in close collaboration with other bioarchaeological and archaeometric sciences, is facilitated by the skeletal reference collections that are the largest in Belgium. Link to the official website: https://www.naturalsciences.be/en/museum/home


The Division of Soil & Water Management in KU Leuven

The research topics within the Division of Soil and Water Management cover physical, chemical and biological processes in the environment. This includes measuring and modeling transport processes of water and solutes in soils and plants, risk analysis studies and speciation of metals and phosphorus species in soil and water, and understanding the driving factors explaining element and greenhouse gas fluxes across a wide range of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Within agricultural systems, we explore expert systems for efficient crop water use, and study long-term trends in tropical soil fertility and soil chemistry.  Within the field of environmental microbiology, our group is actively studying the ecology of microbial communities degrading anthropogenic pollutants, how microbial communities adapt to anthropogenic changes, and how microbial processes can contribute to a circular bio-economy. Link to the official website: https://ees.kuleuven.be/bwb/

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