Postdoctoral fellow within biodiversity modelling in forests

Application deadline: 15.11.2018

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

NMBU has a special responsibility for research and education that ensures the basis of life for future generations.

Sustainability is rooted in everything we do and we provide knowledge for life.

NMBU has 1700 employees and 5200 students and is organized in seven faculties. NMBU has a campus in Ås and in Oslo. In the autumn of 2020 we are co-located on Ås. Further information on NMBU is available at

About MINA

NMBU comprises of 7 faculties, including the Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management (MINA) where the vacant professorship is located. For more information:

The faculty has about 200 employees and undertakes teaching, research and dissemination within fields such as geology, soil science, radioecology, environmental chemistry, biology, ecology, natural resource management. The faculty has about 600 students and 90 PhD-students. For more information:

The faculty consists of 4 scientific sections, and the Section for Environmental Chemistry is responsible for research and education (MSc, PhD), offering MSc programs in inorganic analytical chemistry, environmental chemistry, radiochemistry and radioecology (the only MSc in radioecology in Europe). The section includes the Isotope Laboratory, established 1952, that has participated actively in international research such as EC funded projects since the early 1990s. This lab also serves as the radiation protection authority at Campus Ås, and as an advisor to the national nuclear emergency preparedness committee.

About the position

The Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management (MINA) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant 2-year Postdoctoral position related to biodiversity modelling in forests.

The PostDoc is part of the Biodiversa funded project "BioEssHealth: Scenarios for biodiversity and ecosystem services acknowledging health”. This project is a part of a multi-national consortium (ERA-Net Cofund), with collaborators in Sweden, Norway, Germany and Austria. The main aim of the project is to forecast the impacts of mitigating climate change impacts through the transitioning process from a fossil-based to a bio-based economy at a European scale.

The PostDoc will work with the biodiversity part, more specifically on data on forest beetles, in co-operation with partners. The objective is to test for the relative importance of environmental conditions, connectivity to potential dispersal sources and species traits on the landscape-scale structure of forest beetle communities.

The work will particularly study traits hypothesised to affect species responses to environmental changes, i.e. ‘response traits’. It will also estimate species-species associations. By testing these environment-trait relationships, the project will provide functional, mechanistic and predictive links between environmental conditions and the spatial structuring. The statistical testing includes building the models to be applied for projecting community responses to environmental changes in other parts of the project. Bayesian statistical modelling will be used, to account for complex relationships and uncertainties. All field data have already been collected.

The Norwegian research team consists of Prof. Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson, Prof. Tone Birkemoe at NMBU and Prof. Olav Skarpaas at the University of Oslo, as well as partners from the forest consultancy NORSKOG.

Main tasks

- Organize the relevant data from existing databases: abundance data on beetles, environmental characteristics on local and landscape scale, climate data, trait data for beetles

- Develop Bayesian models for the structure of beetle communities, accounting for habitats conditions (e.g. forest age), response traits, species-to-species associations (which may reflect species interactions)

- Take part in scientific dissemination of results, including writing scientific articles for international publication

We are looking for someone who:

  • Have a PhD in ecology or similar
  • Have a strong background in statistical analyses, including Bayesian statistics, in R

The main purpose of the Postdoctoral position is to qualify for work in high-level scientific positions.

In addition it is important that you have:

  • Experience from forest ecology, wood-living species, entomology, landscape ecology, movement ecology and/or functional ecology
  • High-quality scientific publications, including first authorship, in ecological journals
  • Experience from multilateral international research projects and environments

It is also important that you:

  • Have documentation of good collaborative skills (including ability to establish contacts, work independently and collaborate in a team of researchers within own institution and among collaborating partner institutions)
  • Have strong analytical abilities
  • Are result-oriented and targeted
  • Can show creativity and ability to seek solutions
  • Have proficiency in both written and oral communication in English
  • Have proficiency in oral communication in a Scandinavian language, but not a prerequisite

Remuneration and information

The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1352 Postdoctoral Fellow, wage framework 24 (salary grade 59-77) (NOK 514 800 – 731.000), depending on qualifications. Seniority Promotion in position

For further information, please contact Prof Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson. E-mail: [email protected]; phone +47 67 23 17 71

Information to applicants


To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply for this job' button.

This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Application deadline: 15.11.2018

Up to ten publications selected by the applicant as most relevant must be attached to the application. If it is difficult to identify the contribution of the applicant in multiple-author publications, a short explanation about the applicant’s part of the work is suggested.

Printed material which cannot be sent electronically should be sent by surface mail to Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management (MINA), P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, within 15.11.2018. Please quote reference number 18/05422

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