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Gragson to lead research project in France

The south of France contains some of the richest evidence documenting human activity across the ages. Anthropology professor Ted Gragson, who regularly works in the region, will now a lead a major research project at the Université de Toulouse:

Gragson has been awarded more than $900,000 as part of a research project and visiting professor appointment funded by the French government. The IDEX—Initiatives d'excellence—program is designed to attract high-profile senior scientists to engage in long-term collaborations with units at the Université de Toulouse.

Gragson, professor and head of the department of anthropology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, has been appointed an IDEX "Attractivity Chair" at the Université de Toulouse-Jean Jaurès in France for academic years 2015-2019.

As an Attractivity Chair, Gragson is provided 660,000 euros—more than $900,000—in direct funding to lead a trans-disciplinary team of seasoned researchers, early-career investigators and graduate students in an examination of the historical ecology of the Midi-Pyrénées region in southern France on the border with Spain.

"The region Midi-Pyrénées has numerous prehistoric and historic manifestations fundamental to the emergence of contemporary humans, the formation of modern states and the development of Western culture that are only beginning to be discovered," said Gragson, who also serves as lead principal investigator of the National Science Foundation-funded Coweeta Long Term Ecological Research Project in the southern Appalachian Mountains.

What a tremendous opportunity - for learning, for conducting research and for Gragson to serve as an ambassador for UGA with professional colleagues and students in France. We look forward to the findings about the history (and future) of humanity that this important collaboration will produce.

Image: Map of France with the Midi-Pyrénées region (in red), via wikimedia commons.

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