Dr. Francois-Xavier Ricaut is a biological anthropologist who aims to investigate different aspects of the history and evolution of human populations, in particular the modalities of human settlement and adaptation (migration, admixture, culture/genes interactions). He is a researcher at The National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), in the Department of Molecular Anthropology and Image Synthesis, at the University of Toulouse (France). He received his Ph.D. in biological anthropology at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (Paris, France) in 2003, and until 2008 was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge (UK) and the University of Leuven (Belgium). He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and has been involved in thirteen international projects exploring human population history in different parts of the world (Brazil, Europe, Turkey, Siberia, South-East Asia and Melanesia). Much of his work over the last 10 years has taken place in the Indo-Pacific region, in the Indonesian archipelago and in Papua New Guinea, where he has conducted numerous archaeological and biological sampling fieldworks.
Ricaut’s research is multidisciplinary, combining ancient DNA analysis, archaeological excavations, and population genetic approaches to study populations from archaeological remains, ancient and modern cultural identities and biological markers. He addresses several main questions: What are the links between these different information on human population history and the chronology of human occupation in the region studied? Can we identify changes related to environmental, cultural or demographic pressures? What cultural/biological adaptations are related to settlement in a new environment?
Ricaut is fascinated by the similitudes and differences among the populations he has visited and studied. Populations have unique cultural and/or biological features and adaptations, related to their own trajectories, but still share a common history.