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Postdoctoral Researcher in Evolutionary Genomics

Deadline: 16.08.2024

Universitetet i Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest ranked educational and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. With its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.

The Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo is Norway’s most comprehensive natural history collection. For almost 200 years, specimens of animals, fungi, plants, rocks, minerals and fossils have been collected, studied and preserved here. The museum is located at Økern and in the beautiful Botanical Garden, which is not only popular for recreation, but is a scientific collection in itself.

Natural History Museum

Job description

Applications are invited for a 4 year position as a postdoctoral researcher position in Evolutionary Genomics to be based at the Natural History Museum, University of Oslo. The four-year employment includes 25% compulsory work, such as teaching and collection curation.

The position is scheduled to begin on 1 January 2025.

More about the position

The postdoctoral fellow will work in association with the “ICEFISH” project funded by the Research Council of Norway and led by Associate Professor Michael Matschiner (PI). This project investigates the adaptive radiation of notothenioid fishes in Antarctic waters, with a focus on the role of introgression (genetic exchange between species through hybridization) in their diversification. Introgression has been linked to some of the most explosive adaptive radiations such as African cichlid fishes, where hybridization between divergent lineages was considered the initial trigger of the radiation. Like these famous model systems, Antarctic notothenioid fishes have produced a vast number of species – around 100 – within a confined environment, and dominate the fauna in their habitat. However, the genomes of Antarctic icefishes seem to be far more dynamic than in other adaptive radiations, and thus hybridization may have had even stronger consequences for them.

In this project, the adaptive radiation of Antarctic icefishes will be analyzed with a massive genomic dataset, including whole genomes from multiple individuals for almost all icefish species. This dataset will allow the most extensive analyses to date of their history, their phylogeny, and the occurrence of past hybridization, and how these relate to climatic changes in Antarctica. Additionally, population-level datasets will be used to assess the influence of ocean currents on the distribution of notothenioid fishes around the Antarctic continent.

The work required for this project has a strong focus on bioinformatics. In this bioinformatic work, state-of-the art tools will be used for phylogenomic and population genomic analyses, and new tools may be developed. All bioinformatic work will be performed on the powerful Norwegian supercomputer facilities, to which the postdoctoral fellow will have free and extensive access.

The postdoctoral fellow will be integrated into an international network of researchers on Antarctic biodiversity, particularly with the group of Chiara Papetti at the University of Padova and that of Santiago Ceballos at the University of Ushuaia. Within Norway, the postdoctoral fellow will benefit from the diverse, multidisciplinary, and well-funded research environment in Oslo (including e.g. the Natural History Museum and the Centre of Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis at the University of Oslo) and other national collaborations.

Being generously supported by the Research Council of Norway, the position includes funding for participation in the Evomics Workshop on Population and Speciation Genomics in January 2025, attendance of international and national meetings, and a research stay at the University of Padova. If the opportunity for field work in Antarctica should arise, the postdoctoral fellow would be invited to join.

The 4 years of the postdoctoral position include 25% (i.e. a total corresponding to 1 year) of work unrelated to the research project. The purpose of this work is to provide diverse training in transferable skills related to research in a museum environment, such as participation in field work, teaching, outreach, and collection curation; the total of the duty work performed should consist of a mix of two or more of these activities to ensure the training of a diverse set of skills.

The postdoctoral fellow will be integrated into the Sex and Evolution Research Group (SERG) at the Natural History Museum.

Qualification requirements

  • We are seeking a skilled early career researcher with a strong interest in adaptive radiation research and the ambition to further their academic career with high-profile publications.
  • Applicants must hold a PhD-degree (or other corresponding education equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree) in biology or a related discipline like bioinformatics.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate broad bioinformatics expertise, including UNIX and programming (e.g. in Python or R), and must be familiar with the application of bioinformatics tools to population genomic and/or phylogenomic datasets.
  • Applicants must show good interpersonal skills and be willing and able to work in close collaboration with other members of the project team.
  • As the project PI (Michael Matschiner) will work remotely (in a new position in Germany) for most of the project period, the applicant must also be able to work independently to a certain degree.

Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are required.

Personal skills

  • Ability to create and contribute to well-functioning and inclusive and productive research environment
  • Ability to collaborate and communicate well with other members of staff

We offer

  • salary NOK 575 400 - 657 400 per annum depending on qualifications in a position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (position code 1352);
  • a dynamic and friendly working environment, which is close to both the city center of Oslo, a vibrant and international city, and to nature parks and mountains;
  • full funding of the project’s research-related activities, including presentation of results at international conferences, a research stay at the University of Padova, Italy, and participation in the Workshop on Population and Speciation Genomic;
  • the opportunity to co-supervise a PhD student and MSc students;
  • membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund;
  • attractive welfare benefits.

How to apply

The application must include:

  • The application letter;
  • a CV summarizing education, positions, research profile and merits, pedagogical qualifications, and other qualifying activities;
  • a list of all scientific publications, highlighting the most relevant ones and the applicant’s contribution to these;
  • a one-page statement explaining why the candidate is motivated for the position and how the position fit into the applicant’s career plan;
  • contact information for two reference persons (name, affiliation, e-mail address, and relation to candidate – no reference letters should be submitted).

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system (please follow the link “Apply for this job”). All documents should be submitted in English. Interviews will be part of the appointment process.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Fellow period at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. Furthermore, we want employees with diverse professional expertise, life experience and perspectives.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

Contact information

Questions regarding the position:

Questions regarding the recruiting system: HR-Adviser Thomas Brånå: thomas.brana@nhm.uio.no

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