The ‘UMR-CNRS 7206 Eco-anthropology and Ethnobiology’ of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, France, invites application to a one-year postdoctoral position in evolutionary demography in the Biodemography’ team of S. Pavard.

The aim of this post-doctorate is to model trade-offs between risk of cancers and other mortality risks in an attempt to explain of the two most puzzling paradoxes in evolution of cancers: body size-independency of cancer prevalence and the decline of cancer incidence at old ages. First, between species, cancer prevalence is not a function of species’ size and longevity, despite the fact that cancer incidence is known to be a function of the number of cell divisions (then of size) by unit of time (then of longevity). Second, within species (as in humans and rats), although genomic instability is the proximal cause of both cancer incidence and senescence, mortality rates rise with age while cancer incidence declines at old ages.

Building on a theory from cellular biology, the hired post-doctoral fellow will extend an already partially developed model incorporating carcinogenesis at the cell level, competitive dynamics between normal, pre-tumoral and senescent cells at the tissue level, and competitive deaths by cancers or other causes at the organism level. Diverting damaged stem cells towards a senescent-state may reduce their risk of becoming tumorous while the accumulation of senescent cells in tissues compromises their rejuvenation capacity and functioning, leading to organismal senescence. With this model at hand, the post-doctoral fellow will (i) investigate whether accumulation of senescent cells with age may then be evolutionary optimal since it reduces cancer mortality at the cost of faster senescence from other causes, and (ii) explore the degree to which accumulation of senescent cells with age could explain the formerly discussed paradoxes.

This position is funded by LabEx BCDiv ( The ‘Biodemography’ team is located at the Musée de l’Homme, 17 place du Trocadéro, Paris (France). The scope of the team is to improve our understanding of the evolution of life-history traits in humans and the evolution of senescence. It is part a larger multidisciplinary research unit incorporating population geneticists, anthropologists and ethnologists.

This postdoctoral fellow will be supervised by Samuel Pavard (Evolutionary demographer,, Pierre-Yves Henry (Physiological ecologist,, and Alexandre Robert (Population ecologist,

Qualification and position:
This position is open to junior scientists holding a doctoral degree at the start of contract. Any candidate with training and experience either in (i) population ecology and evolutionary demography with strong interest in physiology and comparative oncology, or (ii) cellular biology and oncology with backgrounds in mathematics and programming, are welcome to apply.

The dead line for application submission is March 15th, 2018, for a hiring date to be negotiated between June and September. Candidates will provide a short letter of motivation tailored to the research project, and curriculum vitae including and names and contact details of at least two scientific references. For queries on the application process, please contact [email protected]

The contract is for one year only but application for further funding will be carried out by supervisors and strongly encouraged from the post-doctoral fellow. Net salary (salary taken home after deduction of social security costs) is between 25 420 and 29335 euro per year according to professional experience since the PhD defense and corresponds to a 100% full time employment.

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Pout toute autre question, vous pouvez contacter [email protected].