The quantification of past plate motions is of paramount importance to advancing our understanding of Earth’s evolution. Plate motions of the last ~130 Ma are well-resolved from magnetic isochrons and hotspot tracks, but as those records are progressively destroyed by subduction, they cannot be used in deeper time. Before 130 Ma, plate motions can only be quantified through the study of paleomagnetism, but analytical limitations have so-far prevented us from using this tool to its full potential. For example, owing to the axial symmetry of the Earth’s magnetic field, the determination of paleolongitude from paleomagnetic data –although theoretically possible– has long been considered an intractable problem. TANGO will capitalize on this untapped potential through an innovative and cross-disciplinary approach integrating modern data-science techniques into paleomagnetic research, thereby opening a new research frontier. Aiming to contribute towards the neglected issue of paleomagnetic precision, I will focus on state-of-the-art computer-intensive statistical methods to provide the conceptual basis for a much needed probabilistic framework for paleomagnetic research. These efforts will allow me to provide paleogeographic reconstructions with uncertainty estimates for the first time. With that framework, through application of unsupervised learning methods, I will also be able to tackle the outstanding problem of paleolongitude determination in deep geologic time, which remains one of the most important challenges in modern geophysics. Such novel and quantitative methods development is strongly complementary to the core research efforts at CEED (University of Oslo) to explore the missing links between plate tectonics and mantle evolution. In this pursuit, TANGO will reinforce the international and multidisciplinary dimension of my early stage career and will allow the European Union to remain at the cutting-edge of paleomagnetic and tectonic-related research.
COORDINATE will do political psychology with infants to reveal meaningful mechanisms for coordinating resource distribution so basic that they manifest even in the preverbal mind. The distribution of resources, help, territory and priority decision rights are central dilemmas for group-living species and the core of politics. Navigating these dilemmas, young children must discover the structure of their social world: who is friend or foe, superior or subordinate, and what does this mean for how people interact? To solve this learnability problem, I argue that early- and reliably-developing core representations and motives have evolved for navigating basic kinds of social relationships with critical adaptive value. Consistent with this theoretical proposal, I discovered that preverbal human infants mentally represent social dominance and, like other animals, use relative size to predict the outcome of zero-sum conflict, spawning a new field of research (Thomsen et al, 2011, Science). However, human society is also defined by reciprocity and by distributing resources according to need, effort and prior possession, yet it remains unknown if these coordination mechanism are inscribed already in the preverbal mind. Here, we test the high-risk proposals that 1) preverbal infants expect direct reciprocity to govern resource donations; 2) infants and preschoolers use gratitude to predict the future reciprocal altruism of others; 3) infants also use asymmetries of prior possession, hunger need and relative effort to predict who will prevail in resource conflict; 4) that beyond the dyadic and triadic relationships typically studied in the field, preschoolers and preverbal infants use the abstract structural forms of pyramidal hierarchy, clique and lines to represent the group relationships of social hierarchy, communality and equality, respectively. These mechanisms likely operate intuitively across life and so we will test if they undergird political ideology and -psychology
Surging inequality is a defining feature of the world children grow up in today. The neighborhood they live in stages a primary developmental context where this feature of our present time plays out. Children’s demographic and socio-economic status (SES) is given by the status of their parents. Parental and neighborhood SES is associated with child mental health and educational performance, and childhood is a vulnerable period. To understand how and why early life socioeconomic position is linked to mental health and educational performance, I propose a groundbreaking paradigm generalizing temporal, spatial, social, genetic, and individual levels of inference. I will do this by having genomically similar children growing up in different families at different places at different times. These multitudes of counterfactuals will allow me to jointly evaluate hypotheses on selection and causation and risk and protection factors for mental health and academic outcomes. The GeoGen study will render a new understanding of (a) how transmission of risk is transmitted across generations, (b) how early mental health is an antecedent of academic failure, (c) the interactions between genetic risk and protective contextual factors, and (c) characteristics of schools and neighborhoods that are optimal for children’s psychological development. I will use Norway since 1940 as a laboratory (n=8 400 000) with registries giving full genealogy and year-by-year event data on place of residence, indicators of SES, mental health, and educational performance. Within this, I will nest a population-based cohort study comprising genotyping of families (n=240 000 in 110 000 families) and a wide array of survey data, such as non-cognitive skills. The combination of having data on all people in all schools and neighborhoods over time allows me to do an unprecedented study on the gene-environment interplay between risk and protective factors for mental health and academic outcomes.
This project proposes the first systematic study of Coptic apocrypha covering the entire timespan of Coptic literary production, and it aims to do so with unprecedented methodological sophistication. Apocrypha is here defined as (1) texts and traditions that develop or expand upon characters and events of the biblical storyworld; (2) and/or contain a claim to authorship by a character from that storyworld or a direct witness to it. A great number of such apocryphal texts and traditions has been preserved in Coptic manuscripts from the fourth to the twelfth centuries. Most of these texts are attributed to apostles or other important early Christian figures, and over time such materials were also increasingly embedded in pseudepigraphical frames, such as in homilies attributed to later, but still early, heroes of the Church. The manuscripts in which this literature has been preserved were almost exclusively produced and used in Egyptian monasteries. Although the use of such apocrypha were at times controversial, the evidence clearly indicates the widespread use of such literature in Coptic monasteries over centuries, and this project will investigate the contents, development, and functions of apocrypha over time, as they were copied, adapted, and used in changing socio-religious contexts over time. The period covered by the project saw drastic changes in the religious landscape of Egypt, from its Christianity having a dominant position in the fourth century, through the marginalization of Egyptian Christianity in relation to the imperial Chalcedonian Church after 451, to a period of increasing marginalization in relation to Islam following the Arab conquest of Egypt in the mid-seventh century. The project will investigate how these changing contexts are reflected in the Coptic apocrypha that were copied and used in Egyptian monasteries, and what functions they had for their users throughout the period under investigation.
Marine polychaete worms (Annelida) are key organisms in marine benthic ecosystems. They have important roles from decomposers to consumers and due to their burrowing lifestyle, they actively participate in oxygenation of sediments maintaining benthic ecosystem health. Polychaetes are known to host protistan symbionts (gregarines), which themselves are infected my microsporidian parasites, forming a tripartite symbiosis. Symbiotic interactions have been of fundamental importance in ecological and evolutionary processes through the history of life, and have ultimately shaped the biodiversity we witness today. However, the polychaete-gregarine-microsporidian tripartite interaction has not been studied before and it is unclear how these interactions affect the polychaetes. Consequently, it is unclear how the the tripartite symbiosis might affect the functioning of benthic ecosystems. One reason behind this knowledge gap is the difficulty of applying experimental approaches with marine hosts and symbionts that are unculturable. With PolyPro3 specifically aiming to resolve the nature of the tripartite symbiosis and the diversity of the interaction by using state-of-the-art molecular methods combined with traditional ecological fieldwork, I will bring a significant step forward in addressing this key gap of knowledge. I will use differential transcriptomics and quantitative methods to disentangle the interaction, and a large spatial scale field sampling across the opening of the Baltic Sea combined with metabarcoding approach to describe the diversity and specificity of polychaete-gregarine-microsporidian tripartite symbiosis. PolyPro3 will also provide novel insights into the impacts of the tripartite symbiosis on the functioning and stability of important benthic habitats and provide effective means for investigation of other marine symbioses. Lastly, PolyPro3 significantly adds to the knowledge on neglected biodiversity of polychaete associated marine protists.