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PhD program

The International Max Planck Research School "Leipzig School of Human Origins" (IMPRS LSHO) is a joint PhD program of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) and Leipzig University (LU). PhD students have a primary affiliation with one of the research groups of the MPI-EVA or one of the participating research groups of LU. The language of the PhD program is English.

The IMPRS LSHO provides interdisciplinary training and research opportunities for university graduates who wish to work towards a PhD in anthropology, archaeology, biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, computational biology, evolutionary genetics, human behavioral ecology, paleoanthropology, primatology, psychology, and related fields.

  1. Comparative and Molecular Primatology - is focusing on the evolution of social, cognitive, ecological and cultural systems of a range of primate species, as well as other relevant mammals. To achieve this we use comparative, hormonal, chemical, genetic, experimental and observational methods.
    MPI-EVA: Prof. Boesch (em.), Dr. Crockford (associated), Dr. Luncz, Dr. Robbins, Dr. Vigilant, Dr. Wittig (associated)
    LU: Prof. Schönwiesner, Prof. Widdig
  2. Functional Genomics and Paleogenomics- is focusing on a) the evolutionary and functional genomics of humans and the great apes, as well as the retrieval of DNA from paleontological remains, b) the origin, relationships, history, and migration patterns of human populations, c) computational approaches to the management and analysis of gene expression data.
    Prof. Krause (associated), Prof. Pääbo, Prof. Stoneking, Dr. Kelso, Dr. Meyer, Dr. Peter, Dr. Vernot
    LU: Prof. Schöneberg, Prof. Stadler
  3. Paleoanthropology - is focusing on the study of hominid fossils, archaeological collections and the excavation of archaeological sites. This includes comparative morphological and chemical (isotopic) analyses of fossil hominins as well as dating, artefacts analyses and environmental reconstructions.
    MPI-EVA: Prof. Hublin (em.), Dr. Gunz, Dr. McPherron
    Uni Leiden: Prof. Roebroeks (em., associated), Dr. Soressi (associated)
  4. Human Behavioral Ecology and Comparative Cultural Psychology - is focusing on a) the role of culture in human evolution and adaptation, b) early child development and culture, c) processes and architectures of voluntary and involuntary attention,  perception, memory, learning, emotion, language and judgment.
    MPI-EVA: Prof. Gray (associated), Prof. Haun, Prof. McElreath, Dr. Beheim, Dr. Boyette, Dr. Bunce, Dr. Colleran, Dr. Kandler, Dr. Logan, Dr. Lukas, Dr. Powell
    LU: Prof. Schönwiesner, Prof. Schröger, Prof. Widdig

The IMPRS LSHO is one of ten graduate programs that are embedded in the Graduate Centre (GC) “Life Sciences” of the Research Academy Leipzig (RAL). The RAL provides additional networking and coursework opportunities as well as a selection of transferable skills seminars.