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Postdoctoral Fellow in Marine Molecular Ecology

Postdoctoral Fellow in Marine Molecular Ecology

Ref. No. SU FV-0875-19

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at the Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. Closing date: 15 April 2019.

At the Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences at Stockholm University, research and education is conducted in an international environment. The subject areas are Ecology and Evolution, Ecotoxicology, Marine Biology, Plant Physiology and Plant Systematics. Some of the research has direct environmental and societal relevance and the approach is often broad and interdisciplinary. About 140 people are working at the Department, of which ca. 35 are teachers and researchers and 50 are PhD students.

Project description
This 2-year position will be associated with the project: NEMOte BARCODing: Advancing monitoring of Baltic benthic ecosystems. Monitoring biodiversity changes is critical to understand how ecosystems respond to disturbance. This is dependent on effective methods to assess biodiversity and ecological status of ecosystems. Such methods are particularly valuable for habitats under severe pressure like the Baltic Sea soft-sediments. Monitoring programs for benthic ecosystems rely on macrofauna for evaluation of ecosystem health, but the Baltic’s low macrofauna diversity is problematic for ecological status assessment. Nematodes are the most abundant and diverse faunal group in the benthos, but due to costs necessary for its analysis, its use in monitoring has not been tested despite its potential to resolve difficulties in assessing Baltic benthic ecological status. Advances in DNA metabarcoding now allow for large-scale analysis of nematode taxon richness, reducing the time and work necessary for its analysis. However, the quality DNA reference databases for species relevant for environmental monitoring, and the retrieval of quantitative data from metabarcoding are important constraints hindering the application of these techniques in monitoring. Here we aim to address these hinders and use DNA metabarcoding to improve monitoring tools that assess benthic ecological status of the Baltic. We will collaborate with existing monitoring programs to sample nematodes from 50-60 stations along environmental gradients in the Baltic Sea. We expect to deliver outcomes like: a) identify the main predictors of Baltic benthic metazoan diversity at an ecosystem scale; b) Assess the potential of meiofauna as a tool to detect ecosystem change; c) an enhancement of DNA reference databases for Baltic nematodes; d) development of quantitative metrics from nematode sequencing data. Ultimately, this project will be important to advance our knowledge of benthic biodiversity and improve current tools to assess ecological status of benthic habitats.

Main responsibilities
The position involves field sampling and experimental work. The candidates should have  previous experience of field sampling, molecular ecology, metabarcoding, high throughput sequencing and bioinformatic pipelines for metabarcoding. 

Qualification requirements
Postdoctoral positions are appointed primarily for purposes of research. Applicants are expected to hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent degree from another country.

Assessment criteria
The degree should have been completed no more than three years before the deadline for applications. An older degree may be acceptable under special circumstances, which may involve sick leave, parental leave, clinical attachment, elected positions in trade unions, or similar.

In the appointment process, special attention will be given to research skills and scientific production, proficiency in molecular ecology, bioinformatics and network modeling.  In addition excellent  team working  and  communication  skills  will be valuable.

Terms of employment
The position involves full-time employment for a maximum of two years, with the possibility of extension under special circumstances. Start date 1 June 2019 or as per agreement.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

Further information about the position can be obtained from Dr. Francisco Nascimento, telephone: +46 8 16 49 26,

Union representatives
Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64,, Lisbeth Häggberg (Fackförbundet ST/Lärarförbundet), telephone: +46 8 16 40 17,, and (SEKO).

Apply for the position at Stockholm University's recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data

  • Your highest degree

  • Your language skills

  • Contact details for 2–3 references

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter

  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of publications

  • Research proposal (no more than 3 pages) describing: 
    – why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement 
    – why and how you wish to complete the project 
    – what makes you suitable for the project in question

  • Copy of PhD diploma

  • Letters of recommendation (no more than 3 files)

  • Publications in support of your application (no more than 3 files).

The instructions for applicants are available at: Instructions – Applicants.

You are welcome to apply!

Stockholm University – our education and research produce results.

Closing date: 15/04/2019

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