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Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Palaeobiology

Deadline: 30.04.2023

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.

Natural History Museum

Job description

Applications are invited for a position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Palaeobiology at the Natural History Museum, University of Oslo. The appointment is for a period of two and a half years, fully paid, with 100% research time.

More about the position

The postdoctoral fellow will be employed by the Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, and work on the Research Council of Norway funded project “ECHO - Evolutionary Convergence in Historical Oceans; The case of whales and ichthyosaurs”, led by Dr Lene Liebe Delsett.

ECHO investigates the convergent evolution of ichthyosaurs and whales using bone microstructure to explore aspects of palaeobiology and palaeoecology. The role of the postdoctoral fellow will be to develop quantitative approaches for the analysis of bone microstructure data, and integrate with the specialist collaborative team to interpret and publish the results.

The overarching objective of ECHO is to determine to which extent, across different eras and levels of biological organization, the convergent evolution of streamlined marine tetrapods results from similar evolutionary pathways.

ECHO focuses on the key biological processes of metabolism, feeding, locomotion, and reproduction. Bone microstructure data from several skeletal element proxies will be used to map evolutionary changes and to reconstruct ancestral states across parallel trajectories in both groups.

The postdoctoral fellow is expected to gather and analyse 2D and 3D bone microstructure data from fossils and extant cetacean species housed in museum collections, both in Norway and relevant institutions overseas.

The successful candidate will therefore have the possibility to travel for collection visits and conferences. There will also be opportunities for outreach and postgraduate student supervision.

ECHO is a collaborative initiative with the postdoctoral fellow co-supervision involving Dr Benjamin Kear (Uppsala University), and an international team of co-investigators comprising Prof. Alexandra Houssaye (CNRS), Prof. Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan (University of Cape Town), and Dr Nicholas Pyenson (Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History).

Qualification requirements

  • We are seeking a skilled early career researcher that is motivated to contribute to the overall goals of the project, has a keen interest in the evolution of marine tetrapods and with excellent collaborative skills.
  • A PhD degree (or other corresponding education equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree) in palaeontology or biology. Only applicants with an approved doctoral thesis and defence are eligible for appointment.
  • Documented skills in quantitative palaeobiology, and experience in techniques such as geometric morphometrics and/ or comparative phylogenetics.
  • Good oral and written communication skills in English is required. Proven ability to publish in high quality international scientific journals is a highly valued asset.
  • Experience with the target vertebrate groups is positive, but not necessary.
  • Interests and skills in dissemination and public outreach of research results is an advantage.

We offer

  • salary NOK 544 400 – 626 300 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (position code 1352)
  • Career building in international research network
  • Stimulating and friendly environment
  • Membership in the Norwegian service pension fund. Norway has family-friendly policies
  • Attractive welfare benefits.
  • Outreach opportunities
  • Opportunity to supervise MSc student

A postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Oslo shall provide the candidates with enhanced skills to pursue a scientific position within or outside of academia. To support their strategic career development, all postdoctoral research fellows are required to submit a professional development plan no later than one month after commencement of the postdoctoral position.

How to apply

The application must include

  • Cover letter including a statement of motivation and a summary of scientific background, research interests and methods
  • One page statement saying why the candidate is motivated to work for ECHO and its goal, and how the position fits in the candidate’s career plan
  • CV summarizing education, position, research profile, merits and other qualifying activities
  • List of all scientific publications
  • Contact information for two reference persons. No letters are needed.

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting 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 and can be conducted digitally.

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.

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. 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 more about the research project ECHO:

  • Dr. Lene Liebe Delsett (PI): l.l.delsett@mn.uio.no

For more about NHM:

  • Reserarch Director Hugo de Boer: h.de.boer@nhm.uio.no

For questions regarding the recruitment process and Jobbnorge, please contact HR Adviser Thomas Brånå: thomas.brana@nhm.uio.no.

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