Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)
Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)

PhD Research Fellow in distribution modelling of ecodiversity

Deadline: 28.05.2021

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.

Job description

The Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, announces a fully funded four-year PhD fellowship associated with the Geo-Ecology research group (GEco) of the Museum’s Section for Research and Collections.

GEco aims at integrating biological, ecological and geological knowledge, as well as the varying effects of human influence on nature. From 2021, the GEco group is a partner of the ECoMAP project. The ECoMAP consortium is led by the University of Bergen and involves many institutions, e.g. the Norwegian Institute of Nature Research (NINA) and the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre (ADB). The stated aim of the ECoMAP project is to ‘model Ecological state and provide COndition Maps to support knowledge-based decision-making in Area management and spatial Planning’. The ECoMAP project is funded by the Norwegian Research Council for the period 2021–24. The GEco group is responsible for ECoMAP work package 3, which aims at developing methodologies for generating map layers of ecodiversity variables – ecosystem types as well as important attributes defined in the Nature in Norway (NiN) system such as regrowth successional state of agricultural land.

Towards this aim, we seek a PhD candidate to work with distribution modelling of ecodiversity. The PhD candidate will co-operate closely with an ECoMAP post.doc., affiliated with the University of Bergen.

Ecodiversity and distribution modelling

Ecodiversity, or ecological diversity, addresses the diversity of units defined by biotic and abiotic components of the ecosystem and their interactions, thus integrating the diversity of organisms (biodiversity) with the diversity of lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere (geodiversity). Ecosystems and landscapes are the two primary levels of ecodiversity, most often addressed in practical area management. The recently published EcoSyst framework (Halvorsen et al. 2020, in Global Ecology and Biogeography 29, 1887–1906) provides a set of general principles and methods for systematization of natural diversity at the ecodiversity level. A fully developed implementation of EcoSyst for Norway, the ‘Nature in Norway’ (NiN) system, will form the conceptual and terminological basis for the work under ECoMAP WP 3.

The ECoMAP project aims at developing an integrated system of methods for generating and making available up-to-date bio- and ecodiversity maps adapted for practical use. The methodological development in WP 3 shall build upon previous methodological developments by the GEco group in fine-resolution ecosystem-type modelling by standard methods of distribution modelling such as logistic regression and maximum entropy modelling.

The research in WP 3 will make use of a variety of spatial maps and presence data from different geodatabases. Much of the work will be done by coding in R or Python and working with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing and GoogleEarthEngine tools. The project will also make use of new empirical data collected in the field. Familiarity with these tools will be attributed weight in the evaluation of candidates

More about the position

The purpose of the PhD Fellowship is research training leading to successful completion of a PhD degree.

The position lasts for four years from the starting date, preferably 1 August 2021, and includes one year (25%) of compulsory work at NHM on top of the regular three years (75%) allocated to PhD research and training.

The fellowship requires admission to the PhD program at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Appointment to a research fellowship is conditional upon admission to the Faculty’s research training program.

Main tasks:

1) PhD research and training (75%):

  • Specification of the research project together with the team of supervisors
  • Write scientific articles and a thesis
  • Attend relevant PhD courses
  • Attend national and international scientific meetings, including ECoMAP project meetings, and present PhD research there

2) Outreach, teaching, curation and administration (25%):

  • Contribute to outreach from the project and the research field (e.g. popular science articles, talks)
  • Participate in teaching (lectures/labs) at university courses (e.g., distribution modelling, population modelling, ecological climatology, Norwegian nature variation - NiN)
  • Participate in supervision of Master students (related to the PhD project)
  • Participate in collaborative GEco research (e.g. fieldwork for research on quality in ecosystem mapping)
  • Contribute to the development of protocols and standards for curation of ecodiversity (e.g. ecosystem map data and related collection objects)
  • Administrative duties in the GEco group (e.g. organize seminar series, edit webpages, participate in research proposal writing)

Qualification requirements

We are looking for a candidate with expertise in spatial ecology (Master’s degree in ecology, biogeography, geo-ecology or a related field completed within current semester), skills in quantitative methods (mathematics, statistics and/or informatics; GIS and coding in R or Python in particular) and knowledge of Fennoscandian biodiversity (plants in particular) and ecodiversity (natural variation in relevant ecosystems).

We expect the candidate to be ambitious, hard-working and willing and able to participate in fieldwork. We search for a person who combines ability to work independently with the skills and personal characteristics required for good collaborations. Importantly, we want the candidate to match GEco and our research partners in terms of interests, qualifications and research ideas (see GEco web page above, and Evaluation and selection process below).

The candidate must be fluent in English. In addition, because one of the aims of ECoMAP is to generate maps for Norwegian user-groups, mastering of a Scandinavian language (Norwegian, Swedish, Danish) and knowledge of the geography of Norway will count positively in the evaluation. Interviews with selected candidates will be arranged.

We offer

  • Salary NOK 482 200 - 526 000 per annum depending on qualifications in a position as PhD Research fellow, (position code 1017 )
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities
  • A friendly and stimulating working environment, with office space in Lid’s hus (the Botanical museum), in the Botanical Gardens at Tøyen, Oslo

How to apply

The application must include

  • cover letter statement of motivation and research interests
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work)
  • copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)
  • documentation of english proficiency
  • a complete list of publications and academic works
  • list of reference persons: 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “Apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

The applicants will be evaluated and nominated in accordance with standard formal regulations (see below).

In addition to documented biological, ecological and quantitative analytic qualifications, weight will be given to the match of the candidates’ interests, ideas and qualifications with GEco’s research activities (see web page), with particular reference to ECoMAP (see above). Interviews with selected candidates will be arranged.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship 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.

The appointment may be shortened/given a more limited scope within the framework of the applicable guidelines on account of any previous employment in academic positions.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. We also want to have employees with diverse expertise, combinations of subjects, life experience and perspectives. We will make adjustments for employees who require this.

If there are qualified applicants with special needs, gaps in their CVs or immigrant backgrounds, we will invite at least one applicant in each of these groups to an interview.

Contact information

For questions regarding the recruitment system, please contact:

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