Jean-Pierre Bocquet-Appel

Professor (Practical School of High Studies, Paris)
and Research director (CNRS)

french version version française



1978-84 D.Sc. Biology-Genetics, U Paris VII (advisors : Jean Hiernaux and Jean-Marc Lalouel)

1974-77 Ph.D. Historical Anthropology, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris,  France; advisors : Denise Ferembach and Jean-Marie Pesez)

1971-74 Diploma (Master), Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE 6th section), Prehistoric anthropology of South America (advisor : Annette Laming-Emperaire)


Academic Appointments

2008-     Professor, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE 3rd section : Lab. of Biological Anthropology)

1995-     Research director : Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris (Research lab.UPR2147 :  “Evolution Dynamics : individuals, populations, species”)

1983-95 Research fellow : Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris (Lab. of Informatics for Human Sciences)

1981-83 Research fellow : Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Institute of Human Paleontology, Paris)

1977-81 Assistant-Professor : Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes  (EPHE 3rd section : Lab. of Biological Anthropology)


Positions as a Visiting Scholar

2005       Invited Professor : Dpt of Prehistory, U Barcelona (Spain)

2003-05 Invited Lecturer : Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris, France).

1985-86 Post-doc stay with Robert R. Sokal : Dpt of Ecology and Evolution, State University of New York, Stony Brook (USA).


Academic responsibilities

2011-15  : Member of the French National Council of Universities

2010-     : Scientific board of EPHE

My research topic is Anthropological demography, from Prehistory (the overall colonization of the Planet since 2 MA, to the Neolithic Demographic Transition) to the contemporary period. Most of my research programs were supported by grants, with 11 funded research programs (2012-2016 EC Marie Curie BEAN, 2010-2013French ANR OBRESOC, 2006-10 EC FEPRE, 2003-07 French MESR ACI 3T, 2000-05 OHLL CNRS).  Author or joint author of 103 publications in international and national peer journals, including: 68 articles (41 in indexed journals) 5 books, including 3 international ones; 21 book chapters, including 16 international ones. Presentations in 122 Congresses  / workshops / seminars, in which invited (financially) for 13 plenary lectures, 39 seminars, including 31 international ones. Leading of 33 scientific meetings, including 10 international ones. Expert for 20 institutions, including 9 international ones (EC H2020, F.R. Québec, Portug. Found. Science, ESF, British Acad., Social Sciences and Hum. Res. Council Canada, etc). Editor in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, editorial board of J. of Archaeology, reviewer in 23 international journals including 21 indexed ones (Plos One, Hum. Heredity, The Quarterly Rev. of Biology, J of Comparative Human Biol., Population Space and Place, Anthropozoologica, PNAS USA, Science, J of biogeog, Am J of Phys Anthrop, Human Biol, Current Anthrop, Population (Paris), etc.), authored  or joint author of 10 scientific project reports.


Demographic anthropology

Researches :

What unifies the demography of Humans and, beyond that, the demography of Primates and even that of Mammals, are the many physiological, biochemical and molecular similarities existing between the different species. I am thus reasoning within a conceptual framework common to Human populations, whether they are those of a near or distant past or current populations. There is no reason to think that Past Humans have escaped to this between-species demographic quasi-continuum. What primarily differentiates the demographies known as prehistoric, historical and contemporary, are not so much the problems, of which a good many are common to them, as the information sources – the data - on which the handling of the problems is based. Depending on the periods of the history of humanity, demographic information can come from current census data, but also from paleoanthropology, archaeology, genealogies, and even from molecular genetics. It is thus hardly surprising if some of my research work, alongside general biodemographic themes, has been related to the tools for extracting this demographic information, often non-conventional, in various chronological situations. My recent studies concern European palaeodemography (Neolithic demographic transition, expansion/contraction of modern humans and Neanderthals ; population cinetic of Upper Palaeolithic) and contemporary demography of Europe and India (diffusion of fertility transition, at its onset).



Seminar in Paleodemography at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes : program.


Main research grants (2000-12) :


Iterage Program

Paleodemography at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme (in French)



CNRS UPR 2147 - Home