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Durham University

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Dr Loïc Harrault, Ph.D.

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Post Doctoral Research Associate in the Department of Archaeology

Contact Dr Loïc Harrault (email at

BA (U. Paris Est), MA (U. Paris 7), Ph.D. (U. Paris 6)

Loïc studied Chemistry (BA) and Environmental Geosciences (MA) in Paris. After graduating in Water Sciences speciality, he started his Ph.D. at the University of Pierre et Marie Currie (Paris) about interactions between freshwater food web ecology and organic geochemistry. During his Ph.D., he started to use lipid biomarkers to identify ecological processes and freshwater species.

From the completion of his Ph.D. in September 2012 to March 2015, Loïc has undertaken a Post-Doctoral Research Associate position in Rennes (France) with Dr. Emilie Jardé and Dr. Laurent Jeanneau. Within the Riskmanche project, funded by the European programme Interreg, his role was to track faecal contamination sources in the environment thanks to faecal lipid biomarkers.

He then joined the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) in May 2015 as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Department of Archaeology, working with Dr. Karen Milek (Geoarchaeology), Pr. Lorna Dawson (James Hutton Institute) and Pr. David Anderson (Anthropology) on the JPI Climate- and ESRC-funded Humanor project. As geochemist and newly inducted geoarchaeologist, he is lipid biomarkers and other methods (inorganic chemistry, GIS, etc.) to identify the presence of different mammals in archaeological sites to help understanding past and current lifestyle of nomadic people from northern Europe (Siberia and Sweden).

He is currently continuing is position within the Humanor project in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Durham.

Research Projects

Department of Archaeology

  • Social-Ecological Transformations: HUMan-ANimal Relations Under Climate Change in NORthern Eurasia (HUMANOR)

Research Interests

  • Geoarchaeology: organic (lipids) and inorganic (phosphates) geochemistry, soil survey, magnetic technics and GIS
  • Organic Geochemistry: lipid analysis, faecal biomarkers (stanols), paleoclimate and paleovegetation biomarkers (GDGTs, alcohols, FAs, alkanes etc.)
  • Faecal Contamination
  • Species tracking
  • Human-Animal-Environment Interactions
  • Pastoralism
  • Field and labwork


Journal Article

Selected Grants

  • 2017: Social-Ecological Transformations: HUMan-ANimal Relations Under Climate Change in NORthern Eurasia (HUMANOR). ESRC under the JPI Climate Initiative, £97,000, 01-08-2017 to 31-12-2018