Phd Fellowship three year - Pollination system stability in a shifting climate

Deadline: 19.09.2022


Nord University

Through research, education and social engagement, Nord University contributes to the creation of a sustainable future.

In cooperation with society, business and industry in Northern and Central Norway, our 11,500 students and 1,350 staff promote innovative solutions and knowledge-based practice, both locally and internationally.

Nord University has four strategic focus areas: blue and green growth, sustainable innovation and entrepreneurship, societal security, and health, welfare and education.

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 31 different countries. The faculty offers a PhD in Aquatic Biosciences. FBA has 900 students and 165 employees in Bodø and Steinkjer. The professional community is organised into the following divisions: Aquaculture, Ecology, Genomics and Animal Science, Production and Welfare and Algae and microbial biotechnology.

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

About the position

A three-year PhD fellowship in ecology is available at the Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture, Nord University (Steinkjer, Norway) from January 1st. 2023.

FBA invites applications from outstanding candidates for a three-year PhD fellowship within the project: "Potential ecosystem instability as climate change shifts phenology in a pollinator network".

This project will study phenological shifts in a pollinator network that includes bees and their mimics. Various species of hoverflies (family Syrphidae) mimic bumblebees (genus Bombus) in Batesian mimicry – harmless animals “disguised” as dangerous animals via natural selection. Their synced presence, however, is only beneficial to the flies if the bees are present, too—if the dangerous model is not there, eventually predators will discover that the harmless ones can be consumed without risk. With climate change affecting flight times of both bees and flies, there is a risk that the system falls out of sync, which could lead to mimic fly species extinctions.

In the project the candidate will gather a unique blend of phenological data on flower, bees, and hoverflies to assess the extent the system has become asynchronous, understand timing of blooming and of flower visitation by bumblebees and hoverflies as well as obtain estimates of interspecific and intraspecific competition. These data will include historical records from museums and amateur collectors available in Artskart and GBIF for an estimate of shifts in flight seasons. Field data will determine a) pollinator–flower species interaction patterns in central Norway, b) blooming times of ubiquitous flower species in the interaction network across both an urban-to-rural gradient, an elevational and a latitudinal, c) patterns of co-occurrence among models and mimics, and d) relative abundance of models and mimics across gradients.

Secondary components may involve phylogenetic analysis of these hoverfly mimics against their hymenopteran models, modelling extinction resilience of various parts of the system and relationships between extinction resilience, phenological shifts and biological and phylogenetic traits of the insect species. The position is localized at campus Steinkjer at Nord university, and field work will be in a beautiful exurban cultural landscapes in central Norway.

The position is to be located in Steinkjer.

Qualification requirements

  • At the time of taking up the appointment, the candidate should have completed an MSc in ecology, natural management, evolutionary biology, zoology, botany or equivalent . The grades at the qualifying MS examination needs to be B or better (ECTS scale from A-E)
  • Ability and willingness to conduct field work that involves stinging insects

  • Experience with insect identification is a strength but not a requirement

  • Analytical skills and good knowledge about research methods relevant to the proposed project
  • Proficiency in oral and written English is essential and knowledge of a Scandinavian language is beneficial for the position
  • 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

Qualified applicants will be ranked according to the following criteria:

Themes and perspectives from the applicant's master's degree will be given weight in the assessment of candidates. Project sketch with description of project idea and plan for implementation.

Personal suitability and motivation for the position.

The applicant's description of motivation for doctoral work and opportunities for implementation. Relevant experience from research work will count positively.

The applicant's motivation to apply for the position.

We offer

The annual salary for doctoral researchers (code 1017) is set at wage level 54, LR 20, NOK 491 200,- in the Norwegian State Salary Scale.

  • 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 :

Application process

Applicants will be evaluated by an internal expert committee. Relevant applicants will be invited for an interview, trial lecture or other presentations.

The Faculty reserve the right not to hire applicants who may be scientifically qualified but who do not meet other criteria such as language, educational background or personal characteristics.


Applications must be submitted electronically by closing date of 19.09.2022.

The application must include:

  • Cover letter outlining the candidate’s motivation and suitability for the position
  • Description of the project idea (maximum 2 pages), based on the theme of the announced position, including the theoretical basis and intended methodology
  • A complete CV (education, work experience and publications)
  • Academic degree transcripts and certificates (both bachelor and master degree) and other relevant qualifications
  • Other activity that is considered relevant, such as list of publications and academic work
  • Contact details for at least two referees, including the supervisor of the candidate's master thesis
  • 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. 30145627

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