Vera Aldeias, researcher at the Interdisciplinary Center for Archeology and Evolution of Human Behavior (ICArEHB) at the University of Algarve, received a Starting Grant worth around 2 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC). This is the first ERC Grant awarded to the University of Algarve and the first time that an ERC Grant in Archeology has been awarded to Portugal.
Of the more than 4,000 proposals submitted, analyzed by renowned scientists and researchers from around the world, 397 were selected, among which the project “MATRIX – Into the Sedimentary Matrix: Mapping the Replacement of Neanderthals by early Modern Humans using micro-contextualized biomolecules” by Vera Aldeias.
This project aims to analyze the dynamics that led to the transition of Neanderthal men to our species, Homo Sapiens, on the European continent. The project is based on a new approach to this much debated issue: the use of biomolecules (DNA, proteins and lipids) preserved in the sediments (on earth) of archaeological sites.
The ERC Starting Grant is awarded for five years to promising investigators starting their own independent research team or program and selected proposals cover all areas of research. After the first call for proposals, 619 million euros will be invested under the new Horizon Europa program in projects of scientific excellence.
The ERC, established by the European Commission in 2007, operates in accordance with the principles of scientific excellence, open science, autonomy, efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, responsibility and integrity of research ensured by the European Commission.
More info here: https://erc.europa.eu/news/erc-2021-starting-grants-results