Ledig stilling ved Universitetet i Agder

PhD Research Fellow in Coastal Ecology

Deadline: 29.02.2020

About the position

Are the invasive Pacific oysters a resource or a nuisance? A bit of both? Can we find out where they come from and predict where they’re going? Will they decimate native bivalves, or can they happily co-exist? Can they adapt to brackish waters, colder waters, and climate change, and thereby spread even further? Can we subject them to commercial harvesting to keep the population growth in check?

University of Agder

The University of Agder has more than 1400 employees and 13 000 students. This makes us one of the largest workplaces in Southern Norway. Our staff research, teach and disseminate knowledge from a variety of academic fields. Co-creation of knowledge is our common vision. We offer a broad range of study programmes in many fields. We are situated at two modern campuses in Kristiansand and Grimstad respectively.

We are an open and inclusive university marked by a culture of cooperation. The aim of the university is to further develop education and research at a high international level.

If these (or other relevant) questions tickle your scientific fancy, the University of Agder (UiA) invites applications for a three-year, full-time, fixed-term appointment as PhD Research Fellow in coastal zone ecology at the Faculty of Engineering and Science, Department of Natural Sciences. The position will mainly be located at Campus Kristiansand, Norway. The candidate must, however, be prepared to spend some of their research time at other locations. Starting date is flexible but preferably no later than 1 June 2020.

The marine group at the Department of Natural Sciences comprises around 20 people including professors, professors II, researchers II, Postdocs, and PhD fellows. The PhD-student will also benefit from collaboration within the Centre for Coastal Research (CCR) which includes GRID-Arendal, NIVA, Lister nyskaping, the University of Oslo, and the Institute of Marine Research. CCR is currently a Priority Research Centre at UiA.


The Pacific oyster has during the last decennium become one of the most dominating species in the tidal zone along the shores of the Skagerrak. Ongoing research shows that the species is continually increasing its geographic range and there are ample opportunities for studying ecological and evolutionary processes at the invasion front in real time.

Possible research areas include

  • analyses of already-collected data such as time series of presence/absence and demography,
  • modelling present and future geographic distribution and interaction with native bivalves,
  • modelling larval dispersal at local and regional scales
  • experimental evaluation of evolutionary potential for further invasion/settlement in new waters such as the Baltic Sea, other Scandinavian brackish waters, and northwards along the Norwegian coastline
  • developing strategies, testing methods, and estimating costs, for management actions aimed at limiting population growth in selected areas such as marine protected areas, beaches etc.
  • developing statistical methods for stock assessment for commercial harvesting.

The Pacific oyster is a relatively new research focus at UiA. The research group has several ongoing research projects within the field and extensive collaboration nationally (Institute of Marine Research, University of Bergen, University of Tromsø) and internationally (Swedish Environmental Institute IVL, University of Gothenburg, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Orbicon, University of Stirling, Ifremer, IIASA).

We are looking for a highly motivated research fellow interested in developing their own project as well as contribute to the future research directions of the group. A detailed description of the PhD project will be developed in collaboration with the candidate and will depend on the candidate’s skills, experiences, and interests.

Required qualifications

The successful candidate should hold a MSc degree (at the starting date) in a relevant field such as ecology, evolution, or applied mathematics/statistics.

Proficiency in oral and written English is required.

Further provisions relating to the positions as PhD Research Fellows can be found in the Regulations Concerning Terms and Conditions of Employment for the post of Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Research Fellow, Research Assistant and Resident.

Desired qualifications

Skills and experience within coastal ecology, invasion ecology, bivalve ecology, population dynamics, ecological niche modelling/species distribution modelling, quantitative genetics, or other quantitative ecology/evolution is desired. Relevant practical experience from marine fieldwork will be emphasized along with personal suitability and good teamwork skills.

Personal qualities

The PhD Research Fellow will be expected to take part in a binding cooperation with the research group and contribute to an active research environment that will give opportunities for personal and professional development. The appointee must have the ability to work in a goal-oriented, organized, focused, and independently way. During the assessment process emphasize will be placed on the applicant’s previous work, master thesis, examination results, as well as any other previous research and development work.

We offer

  • professional development in a large, exciting and socially influential organisation
  • a positive, inclusive and diverse working environment
  • modern facilities and a comprehensive set of welfare offers
  • a budget for travels to international conferences, courses etc
  • membership of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund

More about working at UiA.

The position is remunerated according to the State salary scale, salary plan 17.510, code 1017 Research Fellow, salary NOK 479 600 gross per year. A 2 % compulsory pension contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund is deducted from the pay according to current statutory provisions.

General information

A good working environment is characterised by its diversity. We therefore encourage all qualified candidates to apply for the position, irrespective of gender, age, disability or cultural background. The University of Agder is an IW (Inclusive Workplace).

The successful applicant will have rights and obligations in accordance with the current regulations for the position, and organisational changes and changes in the duties and responsibilities of the position must be expected.

The appointment is made by the University of Agder’s Appointments Committee for Teaching and Research Positions..

Short-listed applicants will be invited for interviews and may also be asked to produce a written essay before the interview. With the applicant’s permission, UiA will also conduct a reference check before appointment. Read more about the employment process.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act § 25 (2), applicants may request that they are not identified in the open list of applicants. The University, however, reserves the right to publish the names of applicants. Applicants will be advised of the University’s intention to exercise this right.


The application and any necessary information about education and experience (including diplomas and certificates) are to be sent electronically. Use the link "Apply for this job".

Filling in the online forms for application letter and CV is optional, but please make sure you attach the following documents to your online application (attachments marked * are compulsory):

  • *Application letter (max. 1 page): describe why you apply for the position and how your experiences and skills fit the description of the position
  • *A short project description (max. 3 pages) that present your ideas for the project, including the relevance of the research, theory perspectives, possible data, methods and references.
  • *CV (max. 3 pages): include information on education, work experience, scientific and R&D work, publication list, and names of two references one of which should be your Msc supervisor.
  • *Summary of your MSc thesis (max. 2 pages).
  • *Diplomas, transcripts and up to three (3) letters of reference.
  • Full master’s thesis (or link to an online version in your CV). If your MSc project is ongoing, state your estimated finishing date in your CV and / or letter.
  • Up to five (5) scholarly and other relevant publications which the applicant wishes to include for assessment.
  • Other important documentation like results from language tests like TOEFL etc.

Original documents of the certificates/diplomas and transcripts of records or authenticated copies of the original documents with a stamp, date, and readable signature from a public office (e.g. university, college, or police) must be presented before appointment. Shortlisted candidates who has not yet done so may be asked to submit their master theses as well as additional documentation.

The applicant is fully responsible for submitting complete digital documentation before the closing date. All documentation must be submitted in English.

Application deadline: 29.02.20.


For questions about the position:

For questions about the application process:

  • HR Adviser Anne Bergit Jørgensen, tel. +47 38 14 11 40, mobile +47 918 73555, e-mail [email protected]

Apply for this job