PhD Research Fellow in Ecological Modelling

University of Oslo

Oslo, Norway 🇳🇴

About the position

The Natural History Museum (NHM), University of Oslo, announces a fully funded four-year PhD fellowship associated with the Geo-Ecology research group (GEco).

GEco aims to integrate biological, ecological and geological knowledge, as well as the varying effects of human influence on nature. Towards this aim, we seek a PhD candidate to work with dynamic distribution modelling.

Dynamic distribution modelling

To predict the distribution of species, communities and ecosystems we need spatial models that incorporate dynamic processes. Such models are needed for basic and applied studies on a broad range of pressing issues from habitat fragmentation to species invasions and climate change impacts and feedbacks. While numerous studies of population, community and ecosystem dynamics have been carried out over the years, few studies integrate data and processes across these levels, and important ecological processes are understudied and poorly represented in models.

Two key ecological processes in the further development of dynamic distribution models are dispersal and intra-/interspecific interactions. This PhD will address both of these processes by a combination of theoretical and empirical work (modelling, field surveys, experiments) with an emphasis on modelling. The candidate will make use of occurrence data from museum collections (GBIF) in combination with existing population, community and ecosystem data, in addition to the new data collected in this project.

The PhD project will focus on the spatial dynamics of plants in relation to climate change, as a part of GEco’s collaboration with the LATICE network and the recently NRC-funded INCLINE project. Depending on the candidates’ interests and her/his match with the group and research partners, other topics in spatial dynamics may also be included in the PhD project.

We expect the candidate to take an active role in shaping the project and, accordingly, require all applicants to submit a 1-page research project sketch together with the application. The sketch shall outline a research idea for the PhD project within the broad frames given above. This sketch, which is not binding, will be used to assess the candidate’s scientific qualifications and match with GEco staff and partners, and will serve as a starting point for discussing and developing the project.

Job description

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

The position lasts for four years from the starting date, preferably May 2018 or earlier, and includes one year (25%) of compulsory work at NHM on top of the regular three years (75%) for PhD research and training. Appointment is conditional upon admission to the doctoral program of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo.

Main tasks:

PhD research and training (75%):
a) Design and carry out the research project
b) Write scientific articles and a thesis
c) Attend relevant PhD courses
d) Attend national and international scientific meetings and present PhD research

2) Outreach, teaching and administration (25%):
a) Participate in the development of the new climate exhibitions at NHM (Klimahuset)
b) Participate in teaching (lectures/labs) of university courses (e.g., distribution modeling, population modelling, ecological climatology, Norwegian nature variation – NiN)
c) Participate in supervision of Master students (related to the     PhD project)
d) Administrative duties in the GEco group (e.g., organize seminar series, edit webpages, participate in research proposal writing)

Who are we looking for?

We are searching for a candidate with ecological expertise (Master’s degree in ecology or a related field) and excellent skills in quantitative methods (mathematics, statistics and/or informatics). We expect the candidate to be ambitious and hard-working, and willing and able to endure challenging field conditions. We want a person with capacity for independent work, as well as skills and desire to collaborate. Importantly, we want the candidate to match GEco and our research partners well in terms of interests, qualifications and research ideas (see GEco web page above, and Evaluation and selection process below). The candidate must be fluent in English. In addition, because an important aspect of NHM’s activities is outreach to the general public in Norway, a Scandinavian language (Norwegian, Swedish, Danish) will be a great advantage, and will count positively in the evaluation.

We offer

  • A friendly and stimulating working environment, with office space in Lids hus (the Botanical museum), in the Botanical Gardens at Tøyen, Oslo.
  • Salary: NOK 436 900 – 490 900 per year depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017).
  • 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.

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Application letter, explaining how the candidate fits the announced position
  • CV with education, positions and academic work
  • University transcripts
  • Research sketch (1 page – see above)

In addition, supplementary material documenting scientific interests and qualifications, such as publications, may be submitted. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University’s grading system.

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “Apply for this job”.

Evaluation and selection process

The applicants will be evaluated and nominated in accordance with standard formal regulations (see below). The process will be led by Professor Olav Skarpaas.

In addition to documented ecological and quantitative analytic qualifications, special weight will be given to the quality and content of the research sketch and the match of the candidates’ interests, ideas and qualifications with GEco’s research activities (see web page), with particular reference to LATICE and INCLINE (see above). If several candidates are found qualified, the top candidates will be interviewed.

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.

The appointment may be shortened/given a more limited scope within the framework of the applicable guidelines on account of any previous employment in academic positions.

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

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact information

Professor Olav Skarpaas, primary supervisor
E-mail: [email protected]

Professor Rune Halvorsen, GEco group leader
E-mail: [email protected]

For questions regarding the recruitment system or the application procedure, please contact:

HR Advisor Thomas Brånå, [email protected]
Se annonsen og søk på stillingen

Stillingsnummer: 0331-2018-02-165 (Oppgis ved kontakt med NAV) Kilde: Overført fra arbeidsgiver