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 (3 years) focusing on year-round seasonality of plant and microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling across the tundra, and how these are driven by large-scale variation in environmental and community variation. The position is based at the Climate Impacts Research Centre in Abisko and/or Umeå, Sweden. Start date is March 1st, 2023 or according to agreement. Application deadline is December 12, 2022.

Project description
The position is part of a large interdisciplinary project that aims to understand and quantify how processes during the arctic winter may be decisive for overall feedbacks from arctic tundra to the global climate. Arctic ecosystems store large amounts of organic carbon in plants and soil. Uptake of carbon by arctic plants is strongly limited by their access to nutrients, especially nitrogen, due to competition by microbes. Year-round carbon and nitrogen balances thus depend on the seasonality of the activities of plant and microbial communities, and their synchronization.

In the Arctic, climate change is especially pronounced during autumn, winter and spring, which may cause asynchronies of these processes, leading to increased carbon and nitrogen losses and positive climate feedbacks. This large interdisciplinary project will advance basic knowledge of synchronies in plant and microbial activities during the cold season. The project will further assess the environmental drivers and community traits that may be used to up-scale and predict effects of asynchronies on year-round carbon and nitrogen balances of tundra.

Work tasks
We are now inviting applicants for a postdoc-position within the above project. The holder of the position will investigate year-round seasonal (a)synchronies in plant and microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling in terrestrial ecosystems across the Arctic, and how these are driven by large-scale environmental and community variation.

The project is funded by the Wallenberg Foundation and running 2021-2026. It will benefit from ongoing collaborations between plant ecologists at Umeå University and fungal and microbial ecologists at SLU in Uppsala, and will use techniques from plant ecology, soil molecular microbiology, biogeochemistry (including isotope-based techniques), and up-scaling based on drone technology and satellite imaging. The project will involve a research team of about eleven senior and postdoctoral scientists, four PhD students and two technical staff. Most of the experimental work will be based in the subarctic/alpine tundra and at the research facilities of the Climate Impacts Research Centre and the Abisko Scientific Research Station in northern Sweden.

The hosts will be Dr. Ellen Dorrepaal and Professor Johan Olofsson.

To be appointed under the postdoctoral agreement, postdoctoral fellows are 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 carbon and nitrogen cycling in arctic terrestrial ecosystems. PhD degree must be in ecology, biogeochemistry, physical geography, or other relevant field.

Additional requirements are good knowledge of techniques used to study ecosystem carbon or nitrogen cycling and demonstrated experience of ecological fieldwork. The successful applicant should further have 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.

Strong merits for this position are knowledge of arctic terrestrial ecosystems, experience with statistics, experience with ecological research across large-scale gradients or logistics of multi-site studies, experience with outdoor activities under arctic winter conditions, and a driving license for cars.

Evaluations will be based on the application, references, and interviews.

How to apply
You apply through our recruitment system on December 12th, 2022 at the latest. The application, written in English or Swedish, should include:

  • A short (max. 2 pages) description of why you are interested in and suitable for the position CV including publication list
  • A short (max. 2 pages) description of your research ideas and plans regarding this project
  • 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 PhD-thesis and other scientific publications (max. 5)
  • Names and contact information of three reference persons

For more information please contact Ellen Dorrepaal ( or Johan Olofsson (

The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science carries out research and postgraduate education in ecology, environmental science and physical geography. The department has about 160 employees, about 20 of whom are post-docs. For more information, visit:

The Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC) is part of the Department and undertakes research in how climate and environmental changes affect the ecosystems of the north. Part of the staff of CIRC is stationed year-round in Abisko, Kiruna municipality. For further information, see

Information box

Admission: March 1st 2023 or according to agreement.

Salary: Monthly salary

Apply before: 2022-12-12

Registration number: AN 2.2.1-1784-22

Contact: Ellen Dorrepaal


Johan Olofsson


Union representative

SACO: 090-7865365

SEKO: 090-7865296

ST: 090-7865431


Umeå University wants 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. We kindly decline offers of recruitment and advertising help.

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