Postdoctoral position in Spatial ecology

Deadine: 02.06.2023

Norwegian Institute for Nature Research

NINA is the leading research institute for applied ecology in Norway. The Department of Terrestrial Ecology is currently building competence and resources for research on renewable energy. We have an open position for a 2-year appointment for modeling of the spatial effects of energy infrastructure on carbon dynamics and biodiversity.

Climate change and biodiversity losses are major challenges worldwide. We are seeking a postdoctoral fellow to join FIREPLUG, an interdisciplinary project funded by the Research Council of Norway. The goals of our project are to investigate the environmental impacts of renewable energy from existing and planned hydroelectric reservoirs, windfarms and solar panel parks. Our goal is to develop siting recommendations that reduce areal impacts, minimize ecological impacts on sensitive habitats and species, and are environmentally sustainable.

About NINA

NINA is an independent research institute with more than 300 employees. NINA is headquartered in Trondheim, and have research departments in Oslo, Lillehammer, Bergen and Tromsø, and research facilities for seabirds at Røst, arctic fox at Oppdal and salmonid fishes at Ims. We have a wide range of expertise and experience in both natural science and social science research, including how various driving forces affect nature and the interactions between humans and nature. NINA is Norway’s leading research institute in applied ecology and collaborates extensively with other research communities nationally and internationally. For more information about NINA – www.nina.no.

The position

We seek applicants with expertise to work on project activities in one or more of the following areas:

• Spatial modeling. Use of GIS software for modeling spatial data from remote sensing or aerial photography. Project needs include mapping of infrastructure to calculate the areal footprint of current and proposed projects. Modeling land cover and land use change will be used to determine impacts on biodiversity and carbon budgets.

• Species distribution models. A knowledge gap for Norway is species distribution maps for poorly known groups of taxa. Modeling will include use of systematic and opportunistic data to develop range maps for different taxa of plants and animals.

• Carbon stocks. Models of land use change and associated carbon stocks will be applied to specific applications to aid siting decisions for renewable energy projects.

• Research products. The fellow will be working as part of a collaborative research team and project activities will be integrated with related projects on offshore wind, powerlines, and cabin building. The fellow will also be responsible for working independently on new spatial analyses and taking a lead role in preparing manuscripts and scientific presentations. Project activities will include engagement with stakeholders in environmental groups, industry and government in Norway.


• Applicants should have completed a PhD in spatial ecology, geography, or a related field. We seek applicants with expertise in one or more of the general areas of spatial modeling, biodiversity and ecosystem science. Previous experience working with questions related to renewable energy is preferred.

• Applicants must have evidence of scientific productivity based on peer-reviewed publications or research presentations. Programming skills with software tools for processing and visualizing geospatial and ecological data are required.

• Applicants must have good communication and interpersonal skills. Proficiency in spoken and written English will be necessary to complete the scientific tasks in the project. Competence in a Scandinavian language is not required but would be an advantage for collaboration with stakeholders in Norway.

• NINA's everyday language is Norwegian, and language training is provided.

NINA offers:

• a workplace in one of Europe's foremost environmental institutes

• salary by qualifications

• flexi-time scheme

• good pension scheme and group life insurance

• varied and interesting work at a leading research institute for applied ecology

• good opportunities for professional development

• a work and career development plan will be tailored for the candidate to ensure future employment prospects

• a pleasant working environment in modern premises of high standard

The application must contain:

• A cover letter outlining the candidate’s professional experience and interest that are relevant to the scope of the position.

• A curriculum vitae with information on education, professional experience, publications, presentations, and research grants. The successful candidate will be asked to submit certified copies of university transcripts and diplomas.

• Up to five examples of research products that illustrate the applicant’s qualifications. Products can include published articles, technical reports or unpublished manuscripts. All materials will be treated in confidence.

• Contact information for three referees who can speak in support of the qualifications of the candidate. Candidates will be notified before their referees are contacted.

For NINA, a good working environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender, functional ability, cultural background or if you have been out of work for a period of time. If necessary, the workplace will be adapted for people with disabilities.

Questions about the position can be directed to Senior Researcher Brett K. Sandercock, +47 452 16 480, or Research Director Svein-Håkon Lorentsen, tel. +47 934 66 770.

Closing date: 2 June 2023

Apply for position


  • Brett Sandercock, Senior Researcher, +47 452 16 480, brett.sandercock@nina.no
  • Svein-Håkon Lorentsen, Research director, +47 934 66 770, svein.lorentsen@nina.no
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