Researcher in aquatic evolutionary ecology


A researcher position is available at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, (CEES), Department of Biosciences.

The position is for 38 months, and with start date as soon as possible after June 1st 2016. The successful candidate will work on the project “The evolution of defence systems: theory and experiment” (EVODEF) funded by the Research Council of Norway.

Project description

The EVODEF project focuses on the evolutionary ecology of organismal defence traits. Organisms may use an impressive diversity of defences against their natural enemies. Evidence from a range of animal and plant systems suggests that the different defence traits expressed by an organism cannot be understood in isolation from each other, but must be studied as parts of complex suites of traits. The project combines theoretical models (mainly developed by the PI) with empirical experiments (conducted by the candidate) to understand the properties of such defensive systems and how they evolve under different selective conditions. Topics of interest include how defence lines are phenotypically co-expressed and coevolve, how defences against different enemies (e.g. predators or parasites) affect each other, and the role of non-genetic inheritance (e.g. maternal and epigenetic effects) in defence expression. In the theoretical part of the project we will develop mathematical models of organismal defence relevant to several empirical systems. In the experimental part of the project, we will use the inducible defences of Daphnia to test novel predictions from theory; the results will in turn stimulate further theory development.

The successful candidate will join our team and study the defence traits of Daphnia in the lab. The project provides a unique opportunity to design and run experiments that test novel theoretical ideas and inform ongoing theoretical work. The ideal candidate will make a major contribution to the planned research, but will also develop his/her own complementary lines of research that reflect the candidate’s own expertise and interests and that broadly fit within the project’s main goals. There is growing interest in developing a research environment for Daphnia at the department and it is highly desirable that the candidate will take an active part in this, as well as contribute to developing future collaborative projects that build upon achieved results.


The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition of being a leading research faculty. 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.

Applicants must hold a PhD-degree or other corresponding education equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in biology or a related field. The successful candidate will be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of Daphnia cultures, the daily running of experiments, imaging, morphometrics, and data analysis. A proven, solid record of running lab experiments with small aquatic organisms (preferably Daphnia) and maintaining them in culture is required.

The ideal candidate has extensive lab experience with Daphnia, strong statistical and writing skills, pays careful attention to detail and theoretical context when designing experiments, and has some experience with field sampling. A background from evolutionary ecology or evolutionary biology is considered an advantage. Field sampling is planned for the summer 2016, and it is desirable that applicants are available to start by this time. A research stay abroad is planned during one section of the project.

The successful candidate will work in close collaboration with the project PI and other members of the team. We seek a highly motivated, enthusiastic person with the ability to think creatively and critically, and with the ambition to gain new insights and publish papers in leading, international journals. Applicants must show good interpersonal skills and be willing to work in close collaboration with others, as well as have the ability to work independently. Applicants should have a good publication record for the career stage.

A good command of English is required.


Position code 1109, Pay Grade: 57-63 (NOK 483 700 – 540 200 per year, depending on qualifications).

The application must include:

– Application letter including a statement of interest, briefly summarizing your scientific work and interests and describing how you fit the description of the person we seek
– CV (summarizing education, research positions, and other qualifying activity)
– Copies of educational certificates and transcript of records
– A complete list of publications, and up to 5 peer-reviewed publications 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)
Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University’s grading system. Please remember that all documents should be in English or a Scandinavian language.

In accordance with the University of Oslo’s equal opportunities policy, we invite applications from all interested individuals regardless of gender or ethnicity.

UiO has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results a.o….

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Source: Nature Jobs

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