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

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Experimental Evolution

Deadline: 01.11.2021

Job description

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 380 bachelor, 170 master, and 75 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.

Position as a post doc fellow in Experimental Evolution is available at Department of Biosciences, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo.

The fellowship will be for a period of 35 months. Starting date no later than February 1, 2022.

No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Oslo.

The position will be affiliated with the Section for Genetics and Evolutionary Biology (EVOGENE) with collaborators at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) at the Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo.

The post doc fellow will be working on the project “Effects of polyploidization during adaptive evolution in yeasts (PloidYeast)” lead by Dr. David Peris (PI) and funded by the Research Council of Norway (RCN 324253). The candidate will work in close collaboration with the PI, Associate professor Inger Skrede, Prof. Håvard Kauserud, Oslo Mycology Group members (Postdocs, PhD and master students) and researchers at the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA) –CSIC, Spain and Valencian International University (VIU), Spain. In addition, the candidate will be part of an international collaborative research team from Stockholm University, Sweden (Dr. Rike Stelkens); Institute for Integrative Systems Biology (I2SysBio)-CSIC, Spain (Dr. Ana Conesa); Ghent University, Belgium (Dr. Yves Van de Peer); and Lawrence-Berkeley National Laboratory, USA (Dr. Héctor García). This research team provides an excellent scientific framework, with specialists in mycology, speciation, hybridization, food biotechnology, evolutionary biology, population genomics, multiomics integration and machine learning model applications.

Climatic change and human actions are threatening the sustainability of food security. United Nations has launched four aims within the sustainable development plan to maintain and ensure food security. In PloidYeast, we aim to apply a new collection of yeasts to offer new biotechnological approaches that can solve UN challenges, that is convert the food chain in a sustainable and a circular process. To accomplish this objective, we will make use of a recurrent evolutionary phenomenon observed in several industrial yeasts. This phenomenon is called polyploidization where the increase of the number of copies of the genome facilitates the adaptation to industrial conditions and might generate yeasts with desired industrial traits, accommodated to reach the sustainability of the food security. We will apply a multidisciplinary approach combining microbiology, molecular and genetic engineering methods, bioinformatics and mathematical modelling to generate the new yeasts and learn how polyploidization improves adaptation to industrial conditions. We know that increasing the number of copies in a yeast, by introducing the genome of multiple yeasts with different but desired industrial traits, generates a new yeast with the combination of the parental traits.

The post doc fellow will develop a new method to obtain autopolyploids and will make use of our recent pipeline (iHyPr) to generate a diversity of allopolyploids with different mitogenomes and nuclear-species combinations. Once the polyploids are generated, adaptive laboratory experiments (ALEs) will be conducted in industrial interesting conditions. The post doc fellow will explore how ALEs impact on different omic layers.

The post doctoral fellow is expected to perform a Research Stay Abroad in any of the international research collaboration team labs mentioned above to expand the skills and knowledge related with the PloidYeast project aims and the postdoctoral career necessities.

The main purpose of a postdoctoral fellowship is to provide the candidates with enhanced skills to pursue a scientific top position within or beyond academia. To promote a strategic career path, all postdoctoral research fellows are required to submit a professional development plan no later than one month after commencement of the postdoctoral period.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition is 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.

  • The candidate must have a PhD or other education equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in a field relevant for the project, including, biotechnology, evolutionary biology and genomics.
  • Knowledge and experience in yeast culture, highthroughput phenotyping, genetic transformation/engineering (homologous recombination, CRISPR/Cas methods) and molecular methods (PCR and Sanger sequencing, DNA quantification by flow cytometry) are required.
  • Knowledge of bioinformatic tools, programming languages (R and python) and working in High-Performance Computing (SLURM) will be valuable.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English.

Preferred candidates should have

  • A strong interest in biotechnology, evolutionary biology, comparative genomics and population genomics.
  • Knowledge in fungal biology, fungal genomics, and bioinformatics.
  • Experience in bioinformatics applied to highthroughput data.
  • Demonstrated ability in scientific writing and publications in relevant renown scientific journals.

Personal skills

We seek a highly motivated, enthusiastic and hard-working candidate. Applicant must show good interpersonal skills and be willing to work in close collaboration with the project PI and other members of the international project team, as well as have the ability to work independently.

Personal suitability for the position will be emphasized

We offer

  • salary NOK 534 400 – 604 700 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (position code 1352)
  • a professionally stimulating working environment
  • 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
  • research training in yeast research, evolutionary biology, bioinformatics, multiomic data generation/integration and machine learning models
  • postdoctoral development programmes
  • a Postdoc Career Success Program

How to apply

The application must include

  • Application letter (maximum 2 pages, Arial 11) including a statement of interest, describing how your background and previous experience relate to the project in general, and how your skills fit into the research framework outlined.
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, research experience, pedagogical experience, and other relevant activities).
  • A complete list of publications and up to 5 academic works 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. 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).

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications as well as the candidates motivation and personal suitability. Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to complete the project in the course of the period of employment.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Fellow period at the University of Oslo.

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

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.

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 further information please contact: David Peris, phone: +47 480 24 587 / +34 644 96 12 47, e-mail: [email protected].

For questions regarding the recruitment system, please contact HR adviser Nina Holtan, e-mail: [email protected].

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