Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

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

PhD Research Fellow in Evolutionary Ecology & Genomics

Deadline: 29.02.2024

Universitetet i Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest rated institution of research and education with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. Its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally esteemed research communities make UiO an important contributor to society.

Department of Biosciences (IBV) is one of nine departments at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Research in the department is organised in five sections covering topics within biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology, cell biology, genetics, aquatic biology, toxicology, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Education across these topics is offered for around 350 bachelor, 250 master, and 120 PhD students. With 52 permanent professors/associate professors, post-docs, researchers, technical, and administrative personnel, the Department has a total staff of 340 from more than 30 different countries. The Department aims to maintain high international standards within both research and teaching. The new bachelor program in bioscience is the first of its kind to include programming and computational modelling as core elements.

About the position

Position as PhD Research Fellow in evolutionary ecology and genomics available at Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis at the Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo. Starting date no later than October 1, 2024.

The fellowship period is 3 years.

A fourth year may be considered with a workload of 25 % that may consist of teaching, supervision duties, and/or research assistance. This is dependent upon the qualification of the applicant and the current needs of the department.

Job description

Human activity has shaped the evolution of a huge number of species and is a primary threat to biodiversity including through climate change. For birds, changing and variable temperature drive range shifts, changes in phenology and in the worst case, extinction. However, much of our understanding to-date of avian responses to climate is derived from a macroecological perspective, such that we lack an understanding of the role of intraspecific variation in adapting to changing temperatures. We know relatively little about the phenotypic and genomic basis of adaptation to changing temperatures in birds. One reason for this is that most bird species have restricted ranges and so studying how variable temperature results in local adaptation is difficult.

Some species have successfully adapted to anthropogenic niches and have rapidly expanded their ranges as a consequence. The house sparrow (Passer domesticus) is a prime example having evolved as a human-commensal. This species has also been repeatedly introduced to novel and often extreme environments across the world over the last 200 years. These repeated and independent introductions, often from similar source populations, provide a novel evolutionary experiment to investigate intraspecific local adaptation to temperature change over a recent timescale.

This multidisciplinary PhD project will incorporate ecology, genomics, ancient DNA and evolutionary biology to investigate adaptation in the house sparrow. There will be opportunities for fieldwork, both within Norway and abroad. The successful candidate will be encouraged to develop their own research direction within the broader framework of the project and alongside international collaborators. Taking advantage of a spatial and temporal dataset of genomic and phenotypic data, the project will address three main questions;

1) what is the extent of parallel and non-parallel adaptation to temperature in both the native and invasive ranges?

2) how have temperature changes over the last century shaped thermal adaptation?; and

3) what are the evolutionary trade-offs and fitness consequences of adapting to extreme temperatures?

The position provides an exciting opportunity to join a friendly, diverse and very active research group with a focus on close mentorship, skills and career development. We conduct weekly lab meetings, group discussions and provide hands-on training for all group members. The group is situated with the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) which is a vibrant interdisciplinary research cluster with an active and welcoming research culture.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition to be among Europe’s leading communities for research, education and innovation. Candidates for these fellowships will be selected in accordance with this, and expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in biology, ecology, genetics or evolutionary biology
  • Foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) corresponding to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English

Desired qualifications:

  • Experience with bioinformatics and handling large genomics or ecological datasets
  • Fieldwork experience – bird handling experience is an advantage.
  • Knowledge of laboratory work ideally with experience in DNA extraction, quantification and library preparation.

Candidates without a master’s degree have until 30 June 2024 to complete the final exam.

Grade requirements:

The norm is as follows:

  • The average grade point for courses included in the Bachelor’s degree must be C or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The average grade point for courses included in the Master’s degree must be B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The Master’s thesis must have the grade B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • English requirements for applicants from outside of EU/ EEA countries and exemptions from the requirements

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

The fellowship requires admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The application to the PhD programme must be submitted to the department no later than two months after taking up the position.

For more information see here.

Personal skills

We seek a highly motivated, enthusiastic person with the ambition to gain insight and publish papers in leading, international journals, with strong interpersonal and organisational skills and the capability to work in close collaboration with others. Experience with and/or a strong interest in working in an interdisciplinary manner is considered an advantage. An interest in working with birds is also desirable.

We offer

  • Salary NOK 532 200 – 575 400 per annum depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement 
  • Vibrant international academic environment
  • Career development programmes
  • Oslo’s family-friendly surroundings with their rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Cover letter including a statement of interest, briefly summarizing your scientific work and interests, and a personal assessment focusing on how you fit the description of the person we seek.
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Copies of the original Bachelor and Master’s degree diploma and transcripts of records
  • Documentation of English proficiency if applicable
  • List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone 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.

Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

Formal regulations

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

According to the Norwegian Freedom and 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.

UiO has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results a.o.

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

For further information about the position please contact: Mark Ravinet, email: mark.ravinet@ibv.uio.no

For questions regarding Jobbnorge, please contact: HR Adviser Nina Holtan, email: nina.holtan@mn.uio.no

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