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PhD Research Fellow in terrestrial ecology – University of Agder (UiA), Norway, 2022


University of Agder (UiA) invites applications for a three-year, full-time, fixed-term appointment as PhD Research Fellow in Terrestrial Ecology at the Department of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Science – 2022

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General Info

Position: PhD Research Fellow
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field:
Deadline to Apply: Expired
Joining Date: Sep 01, 2022
Contract Period: 3 Years
Salary: 491 200 NOK/Year

Department of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Science

University of Agder (UiA), Norway


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Qualification Details

  • The successful candidate should hold a MSc degree (at the starting date) in a relevant field such as ecology, evolution, or applied mathematics/statistics.  This year’s candidates/candidates who are in the closing stages of their master’s degree can also apply.
  • Written and spoken English proficiency. International candidates that are not exempt from the English language requirements pursuant to the guidelines of the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) must document this through one of the following tests with the stated results or better:
  • TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language with a minimum score of 600 for the Paperbased Test (PBT), or 92 for the Internet-based Test (iBT)
  • IELTS - International English Language Testing System, with the result of 6.5

A prerequisite for employment is that the candidate is to be admitted to UiA’s PhD programme at the Faculty of Engineering and Science, Specialisation in Natural Sciences.

Further provisions relating to the positions as PhD Research Fellows can be found in the Regulations Concerning Terms and Conditions of Employment for the post of Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Research Fellow, Research Assistant and Resident.

Desired qualifications

Skills and experience within evolutionary ecology, thermal adaptation, quantitative genetics, or other quantitative ecology/evolution is desired. Relevant experience from field work, experiments in controlled temperature facilities, ectotherm ecology, larval development and growth, and statistical analyses of data from field and lab experiments will be emphasized.

Personal qualities

The PhD Research Fellow will be expected to take part in a binding cooperation with the research group and contribute to an active research environment that will give opportunities for personal and professional development. The appointee must have the ability to work creatively and independently. During the assessment process emphasize will be placed on the applicant’s previous work, master thesis, examination results, as well as any other previous relevant research, teaching, and development work.

Personal qualities and suitability for the position will be emphasised.

Responsibilities/Job Description

Human activity has always influenced many aspects of the environment. Whereas the ecological effects of environmental change have long been appreciated and studied, the potential evolutionary effects of human intervention are less well understood. Additionally, anthropogenic effects on the environment are likely to present many organisms with multiple adaptive challenges simultaneously. For instance, predicted effects of global climate change on terrestrial ecosystems include changes in air and soil temperature, predominant weather patterns, timing of seasonal growth stages, geographic position of migratory destinations, and changes in species composition. All these challenges add to those presented by increased human industrial agricultural activity as the growing human population exploits new technologies in seeking ways to sustain itself.

Decomposers provide necessary supporting ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling and soil formation. In agroecosystems, decomposers are particularly important in recycling animal waste. The overall goal of the proposed PhD project is to determine the impact of multiple stressors in decomposers in agroecosystems using the cold-adapted yellow dung fly (Scathophaga stercoraria) as a model system.

Possible research areas include:

  • comparing the intensity and form of natural and sexual selection on fitness components across latitudinal gradients
  • relating the form and intensity of selection in the field with the genetic architecture of traits under selection using laboratory quantitative genetic experiment
  • examining changes in the potential for evolutionary responses to selection as a function of the number and intensity of stresses using genotype-by-environment interaction experiments
  • developing models of population and evolutionary dynamics under different predicted future environmental scenarios, focusing on realistic description of ecological and genetic processes describing individual growth, survival and fitness

We are looking for a highly motivated research fellow interested in developing their own project as well as contribute to the future research directions of the group. A detailed description of the PhD project will be developed in collaboration with the candidate and will depend on the candidate’s skills, experiences, and interests.

How to Apply?

Application Method: Online Application
Ref. No.: -

Application Procedure

  • Application letter (max. 1 page): describe why you apply for the position and how your experiences and skills fit the description of the position
  • A short project description (max. 3 pages) that present your ideas for the project, including the relevance of the research, theory perspectives, possible data, methods and references. It is highly recommended to contact the project supervisor, Prof. Ane Timenes Laugen, [email protected], to discuss the development of the project proposal well in advance of the application deadline
  • CV (max. 3 pages): include information on education, work experience, scientific and R&D work, publication list, and names of two references, one of which should be your Msc supervisor or another academic advisor that knows you well
  • Summary of your MSc thesis (max. 2 pages)
  • Diplomas, transcripts and up to three (3) letters of reference
  • Full MSc thesis. If your MSc project is ongoing, state your estimated finishing date in your CV.
  • Up to five (5) scholarly and other relevant publications which the applicant wishes to include for assessment.
  • Other important documentation like results from language tests (e.g. TOEFL)

The applicant is fully responsible for submitting complete digital documentation before the closing date. All documentation must be available in a Scandinavian language or English.

About the Department/Section/Group

The position will mainly be located at Campus Kristiansand, Norway. The candidate must, however, be prepared to spend some of their research time in the Bussière group in the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Gothenburg. Starting date is flexible but preferably no later than 1 September 2022.

The Department of Natural Sciences employs around 55 people including professors, associated researchers, postdocs, and PhD fellows. We offer PhD education in Coastal Ecology, Limnology, Molecular Ecology, and Terrestrial Ecology. The Laugen group currently hosts 2 PhD fellows, 3 MSc students, and 2 BSc students, and has extensive international collaboration.

About the Employer:

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Contact details

For questions about the position:

For questions about the application process:

  • Higher Executive Officer Lise Askbo Fylkesnes, tel. +47 37 23 31 25, e-mail: [email protected]

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