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OCSEAN is lacuned in 2020 and scheduled funded by the European Commission (H2020-MSCA-RISE-2019 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange, Project Number 873207), scheduled to officially launch in 2020 and operate for 4 years. Led by a consortium of 9 European universities, including the University of Tübingen, the project work is a collaboration with several universities and institutes abroad. It unites researchers from across the world to re-evaluate our understanding of the Austronesian expansion, doing so by using new high-density data from archaeology, biological anthropology, linguistics and genomics. In line with the mission of the DFG Center “Words, Bones, Genes, Tools,” OCSEAN aims to address questions of the Austronesian expansion using distinct datasets within a common statistical framework.

Schematic of the consortium’s organization and synergy

OCSEAN will achieve a synthesis of disciplines using state-of-the-art computational and statistical methods to interrogate the structural relationship between joint data sets. The research contextualizes the expansion of the Austronesian language family within the growing evidence for social and political complexity across Island Southeast Asia and coastal mainland regions prior to the arrival of rice and millet agriculture to Taiwan during the mid 5th millennium BP. It also takes into account the rich history of interaction since the spread of the Malayo-Polynesian branch of Austronesian outside of Taiwan. OCSEAN brings together leading researchers from the humanities and sciences and combines the resources of multiple laboratories to tackle questions that can only be addressed with this extensive network of cooperation.

Planning meeting held in Tübingen January 21-22, 2019. From left to right: Maximilian Larena (Uppsala), Martin Bodner (Innsbruck), Hugo Reyes-Centeno (Tübingen), Phillip Endicott (Paris), Johannes Dellert (Tübingen), Daniel Lawson (Bristol), Monika Karim (Tartu), Mait Metspalu (Tartu), Christian Bentz (Tübingen)

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