The project: Worldwide, at least 40% of vascular plants are threatened with extinction. Although land-use intensification has been identified as the overall main driver, it is much less known if extinction risk is predictable from species’ attributes. Identifying the biological, ecological and geographical features that make species vulnerable to extinction (i.e. extinction risk assessment) might help us to predict which species are most prone to decline and gain a more detailed understanding of the reasons behind declines. 

In practical terms, this approach allows for prioritization in nature conservation (single species, groups of species, particular communities) by focusing on a small number of indicator species categorized as at high risk, to prevent local biodiversity loss at low cost.

The main aim of this research project is to determine a set of plant features (e.g. ecological niche, life-history traits, distribution range and local abundance, long-term population dynamics) that best predict extinction risk in Central and Northern European vascular plants. Based on these predictors, we aim to develop a publicly available, dynamic database predicting local and regional plant diversity loss.  To achieve this, we will apply state-of-the-art statistical methods (e.g., novel machine learning approaches) to improve predictions and reveal potentially hidden relationships.

Who are we looking for?: We are looking for highly motivated candidates interested in fundamental (‘how a species become extinct?’) and applied (‘how to prevent and reverse biodiversity loss?’) aspects of plant ecology and biology with the following competencies and qualifications:

  • a PhD (or soon-to-be PhD) in Plant (Conservation) Biology or Ecology
  • good knowledge of the European flora or a good understanding of plant taxonomy
  • Academic preparation as well as (proven) experience in statistical analysis
  • Strong programming skills in R or Python
  • Proven track record showing scientific productivity in peer reviewed journals (in relation to applicants’ career trajectory)
  • Demonstrated capacity for effective teamwork
  • Experience in supervising other researchers at different levels
  • Excellent English communication skills, both written and oral

The following qualifications are highly preferred, but not required. Candidates who possess any of these qualifications are encouraged to highlight them in the application:

  • Previous postdoc experience
  • Experience in spatial analysis (ArcGIS, R or similar)
  • Experience in applying machine learning to biological problems
  • Experience in applied plant conservation biology and restoration ecology
  • Good communication skills in Danish, Swedish or Norwegian
  • Previous experience in public outreach

The postdoc’s duties will also include teaching (less than 4 hours per week) and supervision of BSc and MSc thesis projects. The post may also include performance of other duties as agreed.

What do we offer?
We offer collegial, creative, and stimulating working conditions in a large, multidisciplinary department, with excellent scientific infrastructure and wide international collaboration. The Postdoc position will be embedded in a newly established, young, and dynamic working group. The project is a cooperation project among several Danish and European research institutions and offers an attractive opportunity for further career development.

We are in Copenhagen, one of the most desirable cities of Europe. It might also be worth mentioning that Denmark routinely scores at the absolute top in rankings of quality of life such as, e.g., the OECD Better Life, Inquiries about the position can be made to assistant professor Sergey Rosbakh, email:, direct phone: +45 60 59 75 50

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Terms of employment
The employment as postdoc is a full-time position for 2 years with an opportunity for extension for another year. Starting date is 1 July 2023 or after agreement. Salary, pension, and terms of employment will be in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated.

Non-Danish and Danish applicants may be eligible for tax reductions, if they hold a PhD degree and have not lived in Denmark for the last 10 years. The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Cover letter expressing the motivation and previous research experience of the applicant (max 2 pages)
  • Curriculum vitae (max 3 pages)
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
  • Complete publication list
  • References (name and contact details of at least two references)

The deadline  for applications is Tuesday 28 February 2023, 23:59 GMT +1. 

Interviews will be held in the first week of May 2023.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Sergey Rosbakh; Assistant Professor – Tenure Trac

Sergey Rosbakh, email:, direct phone: +45 60 59 75 50


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