Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest institutions of higher education with over 37,000 students and 4,800 faculty and staff. We are characterised by world-leading research in several scientific fields and a multitude of educations ranked highly in international comparison. Umeå University is also the site of the pioneering discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors – a revolution in genetic engineering that has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

At Umeå University, everything is nearby. Our cohesive campus environment makes it easy to meet, collaborate and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture where we rejoice in each other’s successes.

The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science at Umeå University, Sweden, invites applicants for a postdoc position (2 years) focusing on plant-soil interactions in arctic tundra, and how these are driven by abundance of plants and / or their mycorrhizal associates. The position is based in Umeå, with fieldwork at the Climate Impacts Research Centre in Abisko, Sweden. Start date 1 December or according to agreement. Application deadline is October 24th.

Project description
This position is part of a larger project that aims to understand and quantify how the presence of plants with different mycorrhizal partners influence plant-soil interactions in arctic tundra and their potential feedbacks to the global climate.

A very prominent current change in the arctic landscape is the expansion of deciduous shrubs and trees into tundra. This “shrubification” not only changes the visible plant community but most likely also changes interactions between these plants, the soil community and ecosystem processes. How an increased abundance of ecto-mycorrhizal shrubs instead of the currently dominant ericoid-mycorrhizal shrubs in arctic tundra will affect carbon and nutrient cycling is paramount to predicting how tundra ecosystems will respond to climate change. This project will advance mechanistic understanding of plant-soil interactions in a changing tundra through selective removal of plants with specific mycorrhizal associations from the plant community.

Work tasks
We are now inviting applicants for a postdoc-position within the above project. The holder of the position will investigate plant-soil-interactions, such as carbon and nitrogen cycling, in arctic ecosystems, and how these are driven by different mycorrhizal types. The specific focus of this postdoctoral position within the larger project will be developed together with the candidate.

The project will benefit from ongoing collaborations within an international team of researchers, amongst others at Umeå University and SLU in Uppsala. We will use techniques from plant ecology, soil (faunal) ecology, or biogeochemistry. Most of the experimental work will be based in the subarctic tundra and the research facilities of the Climate Impacts Research Centre and the Abisko Scientific Research Station in northern Sweden.

The hosts  will be Dr. Gesche Blume-Werry and Dr. Eveline Krab (SLU Uppsala).

To be appointed under the postdoctoral agreement, the postdoctoral fellow is required to have completed a doctoral degree or a foreign degree deemed equivalent to a doctoral degree. This qualification requirements must be fulfilled no later than at the time of the appointment decision.

To be appointed under the postdoctoral agreement, priority should be given to candidates who completed their doctoral degree, according to what is stipulated in the paragraph above, no later than three years prior. If there are special reasons, candidates who completed their doctoral degree prior to that may also be eligible. Special reasons include absence due to illness, parental leave, appointments of trust in trade union organisations, military service, or similar circumstances, as well as clinical practice or other forms of appointment/assignment relevant to the subject area. Postdoctoral fellows who are to teach or supervise must have taken relevant courses in teaching and learning in higher education.

We are looking for a person with interest in plant-soil-interactions in arctic terrestrial ecosystems. PhD degree must be in ecology, biogeochemistry, physical geography, or other relevant field.

The successful applicants should further have demonstrated experience of ecological fieldwork, a track record of scientific publication in a relevant field, excellent skills in scientific communication in English, creativity, power of initiative, independence, good interpersonal skills and ability to collaborate within a larger group.

Strong merits for this position are knowledge of arctic terrestrial ecosystems, soil ecology, terrestrial biogeochemistry, and good knowledge of techniques used to study plant communities and ecosystem carbon or nitrogen cycling, as well as statistics. Evaluations will be based on the application, references, and interviews.

A full application should include:

  • Cover letter (max. 2 pages) in which you describe why you are interested in and suitable for the position including your research ideas within the project
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) with publication list,
  • Verified copy of doctoral degree certificate or documentation that clarifies when the degree of doctor is expected to be obtained,
  • Verified copies of other diplomas, list of completed academic courses and grades,
  • Copy of doctoral thesis and up to 4 relevant articles,
  • Other documents that the applicant wishes to claim.
  • Contact information to two persons willing to act as references.

The application must be written in English or Swedish. The application is made through our electronic recruitment system. Documents sent electronically must be in Word or PDF format. Log in to the system and apply via the button at the end of this page. The closing date is October 24th. Further details are provided by Gesche Blume-Werry

The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science (EMG) is both a research and teaching department situated within the Umeå University campus. The department has approximately 150 staff members, of which 20 are Postdocs.

Umeå University strives to offer an equal environment where open dialogue between people with different backgrounds and perspectives lay the foundation for learning, creativity and development. We welcome people with different backgrounds and experiences to apply for the current employment.


Last application date: 24.Oct.2022 11:59 PM CEST

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