PhD fellowship (3 years) in kelp epigenetics and climate change mitigation via thermal priming

Deadline: 24.03.2021


About the position

A three-year PhD fellowship is available from October 1st 2021 at the Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture, Nord University (Bodø, Norway), connected to the new research division ‘Algal and microbial biotechnology’. This is a collaborative project with the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), Bodø.

Nord University

Global challenges demand new insight, innovative solutions and local legitimacy. Nord University is a young university with strong regional ties and a global perspective. We are committed to delivering relevant educational programmes and research, with a focus on blue and green growth, innovation and entrepreneurship, and welfare, health and education. Nord University has 11,000 students and 1,300 employees at nine study locations in central and northern Norway.

Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture (FBA) educates people with the aim of promoting sustainable and innovative development to meet global challenges in food production, climate and environment. The faculty is an international arena for education, research and knowledge dissemination, with employees and students from 25 different countries. The faculty offers a PhD in Aquatic Biosciences. FBA has 900 students and 160 employees in Bodø and Steinkjer. The professional community is organised into the following divisions: Aquaculture, Ecology, Genomics, Algal and microbial biotechnology and Animal Science, Production and Welfare.

Read more: www.nord.no/en/fba

The project “Thermal impact and priming of kelp – biotechnological potential for climate change mitigation” focuses on the impact of rising ocean temperatures on economically and ecologically important kelp, and the potential to bioengineer their thermal tolerance and photophysiological performance via thermal priming (formation of an epigenetic memory).

Kelps are the foundation of diverse coastal ecosystems and are considered as promising target for a new sustainable aquaculture industry. Rising ocean temperatures have already devastating effects on natural kelp forests. How increasing temperatures may affect the distribution, restoration success, and production security of farmed kelp in the Northeast Atlantic, is currently unexplored. Epigenetic factors such as DNA methylation, which regulate gene expression, play an integral role in plant development and stress response. Yet their implications in algae, and their potential to mitigate climate change impacts remain poorly understood. This project takes a multi-disciplinary approach, integrating heat stress experiments with molecular methods and niche modelling.

The objectives:

1) Characterize the presence of DNA methylation in several species

2) Characterize the effect of thermal priming on methylome, growth and performance

3) Project suitable growth conditions into the future using Species Distribution Models

Qualification requirements

Essential qualifications:

  • MSc degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline such as genetics, epigenetics, phycology, and biosciences
  • Grade average of B or better both for the programme in total and the master’s thesis
  • Drylab skills in molecular biology including PCR
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Strong computational skills (using R, modelling software)
  • Ability to work independent and in teams
  • High motivation and adherence to time lines

Desirable qualifications:

  • Experience in using Species Distribution Models
  • Background in kelp ecology and cultivation
  • Bioinformatics background
  • Experience in Next Generation Sequencing
  • Knowledge of a Scandinavian language

The candidate should fulfill the admission requirements and participate in the training component stipulated in regulations of the PhD program. Application for admission to the program must be submitted within three months after taking up the position. For admission requirements and regulations, see our web page.

We offer

The annual salary for doctoral researchers (code 1017) is set at wage level 54, LR 20, NOK 482.200,- in the Norwegian State Salary Scale. Suitably qualified candidates may be placed in code 1378.

  • Advantages within the Government Pension Fund for borrowing, insurance and pension.
  • Creative and collegial working environment
  • A workplace with steady progressive development
  • Flexible working hours
  • Active university sports team

General information

The person who is appointed must abide by the applicable laws, agreements, and directives. The responsibilities and duties associated with the position may change with future reorganization at Nord University.

The public sector workforce is expected to reflect the diversity of the population in general. Nord University therefore encourages qualified candidates with disabilities, gaps in their CV, immigrant backgrounds or different life experience to apply. Nord University practices moderate allocation according to gender quotas in accordance with the Basic Agreement for State Employees.

If applicants indicate they have disabilities or gaps in their CV, their details may be used anonymously for the purposes of governmental annual review

Contact information

Further information about the position can be obtained by contacting :


Applications must be submitted electronically by 24.03.2021.

The application should include:

  • Cover letter outlining the candidate’s motivation and suitability for the position (maximum 2 pages).
  • Description of the project idea, including the theoretical basis and intended methodology (maximum 3 pages).
  • A complete CV (education, work experience and publications, maximum 3 pages).
  • Certified copies of transcripts for academic degrees (both bachelor and master degree) and other relevant qualifications
  • Other activity that is considered relevant, such as list of publications and academic work
  • Names and contact details of 2 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)
  • Signed consent form PhD (if relevant)

All documents must be uploaded as attachments to the electronic application form.

It is the applicant's responsibility to submit the complete documentation within the deadline.

After the application period has expired a list of applicants will be published. Note that, in special cases, the identity of particular applicants to a position may be made public even when that applicant has requested that their application be processed confidentially. Applicants requesting an exemption from publication of their identity must explain their reasons for doing so in their application. In this case, advance notice will be given in the event of a decision to make any information about the applicant public.

Refnr. 30099730

Apply for position


Powered by Labrador CMS