PhD position in population ecology at the Department of Biology, Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics, NTNU

A PhD position in the project « Sustainable management of renewable resources in a changing environment: an integrated approach across ecosystems (SUSTAIN) » is available at the Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics (CBD), Department of biology, NTNU. The appointment is for 3 years with the possibility of up to a 1-year extension if the candidate accepts teaching duties in agreement with the Department and the supervisor. This integrated research project is financed by the KLIMAFORSK-program from the Research Council in Norway, and is a collaborative project between three partners in Oslo (University of Oslo (UiO), Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) by N.C. Stenseth), Trondheim (NTNU, CBD by B.-E. Sæther) and Tromsø (UiT The Arctic University of Norway by R.A. Ims). The main goal of the project is to develop a framework for a sustainable ecosystem-based harvesting and conservation for different ecosystems (terrestrial, freshwater, marine), with the aim to increase the resilience of ecosystem against expected climate change, other stress factors, and their interactions.

Information about the department

The strategy of the Department of Biology is to understand biological processes of life to secure sustainable use of and conservation of the environment. The Department has academic and research activities in the following disciplines: cell- and molecular biology, systems biology, physiology, ethology, ecology, evolution, population genetics, marine biology, aquaculture, biodiversity and environmental toxicology. Further information is available at:

This position will be associated with Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics, a Centre of Excellence in Science, more information about the Centre can be found at:

Job description

The research in the announced position will mainly focus on increasing our understanding of how harvesting and environmental variation (including climate change) affects the temporal dynamics in a multi-species system with different types of inter-specific interactions (e.g. competition, predator-prey). The work includes 1) developing theoretical models for temporal dynamics in multi-species systems, 2) investigating how ecological processes like dispersal, density dependence, spatial structure and different types of environmental variation affect the dynamics of multi-species systems subject to different harvesting strategies, and 3) testing predictions based on these models through analyses of empirical data.

The candidate will be expected to have a longer visit (for instance 4 to 6 months) at one of the other research groups (UiO, UiT) involved in the project, or at an international project partner.


The applicant must have an MSc (or equivalent) in Biology or Statistics (or other relevant area), and must have some experience with theoretical tools for stochastic modelling of population dynamics, including programming in R or similar languages. Candidates should have strong organizational, written, and oral communication skills, be creative, and be able to work both independently and as part of a collaborative team.

The regulations for PhD programs at NTNU state that a Master degree or equivalent with at least 5 years of studies and an average grade of A or B within a scale of A-E for passing grades (A best) for the two last years of the MSc is required and C or higher of the BSc. Candidates from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a Diploma Supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grade system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree:

The position requires spoken and written fluency in the English language. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries outside Europe must document English skills by an approved test. Approved tests are TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).

Terms of employment

The appointment of the PhD fellows will be made according to Norwegian guidelines for universities and university colleges and to the general regulations regarding university employees. Applicants must agree to participate in organized doctoral study programs within the period of the appointment and have to be qualified for the PhD-study.

NTNU’s personnel policy objective is that the staff must reflect the composition of the population to the greatest possible extent.

The position as PhD is remunerated according to the Norwegian State salary scale. There is a 2% deduction for superannuation contribution.

Further information can be obtained from professor Bernt-Erik Sæther, Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics (CBD), Department of Biology, NTNU, Tel. +47 735 90584, E-mail: [email protected]

The application

Applications with CV, certificates from both Bachelor and Master, any publications and other scientific works, copies of transcripts, (copies of documentation on English language proficiency test), contact information for references, and at least two letters of recommendation should be submitted. The applicant’s motivation, skills and personal qualifications for the position should be described in the application letter.

Applications must be submitted electronically through this page. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered.

The reference number of the position is: NT-59/16

Application deadline: 3rd July 2016

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