PhD Research Fellow in Plant Ecology

University of Bergen
February 09, 2023
Offerd Salary:Salary as PhD Research Fellow (code 1017
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:fixed term of 3 year
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
PhD Research Fellow in Plant Ecology UiB - Knowledge that shapes society

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PhD Research Fellow

There is a vacancy for a PhD Research Fellow in plant ecology at the Department of Biological Sciences. The position is for a fixed term of 3 years with the possibility of a 4th year with compulsory other work (e.g. teaching duties at the Department).The position is financed by EU and connected to the research project RangeX (Mechanisms underlying the success and impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning of range-expanding species under climate change) funded by the BiodivERsA COFUND Call on "Biodiversity and Climate Change”. The project consortium involves partners from Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland, and will work closely with collaborators from across the global Mountain Invasion Research Network (MIREN).

About the project/work tasks:

Native as well as exotic species are shifting their distributions in response to global warming and through biological invasions, many expanding their ranges across elevation gradients. But species are doing so at widely different rates, leading to a reassembly of ecological communities that could have even more profound impacts on the future of biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and nature's benefits to people. In particular, changes to species interactions in novel communities could mediate effects of climate warming on biodiversity, and on key ecosystem functions like carbon cycling and pollination, which could in turn feedback to climate warming. RangeX seeks to better understand the processes and impacts of plants that are expanding their ranges following climate warming, and to use this knowledge to inform the development of policy regarding range-expanding plant species. The project asks the following overarching questions:

1. What processes explain variation in species' range expansion with climate warming?

2. How do range-expanding species impact alpine biodiversity and key ecosystem functions, and how will these impacts feed back to changing climate?

3. Can we predict which species are most/least able to expand their ranges with climate warming, and their impact on ecosystem processes?

4. Can better ecological understanding of range expansions be synthesised with stakeholder knowledge to improve policy and management of range expansions and biodiversity?

The PhD research fellow will work especially on tasks 1 through 3. Specifically, the fellow will:

  • Have responsibility for maintaining the Norwegian site of a replicated climate and range expansion experiment and collect plant and ecosystem- level data from this site.
  • Lead the writing of 2-3 research papers leading to a PhD thesis focussed on this experiment.
  • Collaborate with the international team to collect additional data from the Norwegian site, and to analyse and writing publications and synthesis across the network of sites.
  • Have the opportunity to interact with partners across the international consortium and to engage with relevant stakeholders to codevelop synthesis and policy-relevant information about plant range expansions.
  • Qualifications and personal qualities:
  • Applicants must have completed a master's degree or equivalent education in Plant Ecology or a related field, or must have submitted his/her master's thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the master's degree has been awarded.
  • Good scientific understanding of plant community ecology, plant physiology ecology, alien plant ecology, functional ecology, alpine ecosystems, and/or ecological effects of climate and environmental change is a requirement.
  • Experience in ecological field studies is a requirement.
  • A relevant statistical or modelling background, and critical thinking and writing skills are required.
  • Experience within relevant analyses or modelling, measurements, plant functional trait analyses, and identification of Scandinavian alpine plants is an advantage.
  • Applicants should have good outdoor skills and appreciate field work in remote, alpine areas. Field work is a team effort, and you must be prepared to contribute to common aspects of field work and assist others with their projects in addition to working on their own research program.
  • Drivers' licence and ability to conduct field work in alpine areas is required.
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner and demonstrate good collaborative and critical thinking skills.
  • Applicants and must be fluent in both written and oral English
  • About the position

    About the PhD Research Fellow: The fellowship will be for a period of 3 years, with the possibility for a 4th year, consisting of 25 % compulsory work (e.g. teaching responsibilities at the department) distributed over the employment period. The 4th year is contingent on the qualifications of the candidate and the teaching needs of the department and will be decided by the head of department upon appointment.

    The employment period may be reduced if you have previously been employed in a qualifying post (e.g. research fellow, research assistant).

    About the research training: As a PhD Research Fellow, you must participate in an approved educational programme for a PhD degree within a period of 3 years. The deadline for applying for admission to the PhD programme at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences is 2 months after you start your position or after the start of the research project that will lead to the PhD degree. It is a condition that you satisfy the enrolment requirements for the PhD programme at the University of Bergen.

    We can offer:
  • A good and professionally stimulating working environment.
  • Salary as PhD Research Fellow (code 1017) at the state salary scale. This constitutes a gross annual salary of NOK 501 200 (equivalent to pay grade 54) Further promotions are made according to length of service in the position.
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
  • Good welfare benefits.
  • Your application must include:
  • An application letter with applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position.
  • A brief research statement (max 2 pages) of your research interests and plans for a PhD project within the RangeX project.
  • The names and contact information for two reference persons. One of these must be the main advisor for the master's thesis or equivalent thesis.
  • CV
  • Transcripts and diplomas showing completion of the bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not yet completed your master's degree, please submit a statement from your institution confirming that the master's thesis has been submitted.
  • Relevant certificates/references.
  • Approved documentation of proficiency in English (if required, cf. English language requirements for PhD admission)
  • Lists of any works of a scientific nature (MSc thesis, scientific publications, conference presentations, popular science, teaching materials, documented datasets or workflows, etc.).
  • MSc thesis and publications or manuscripts (if any)
  • The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge.

    General information:

    For further details about the position, please contact Professor Vigdis Vandvik, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Bergen ([email protected], +4747301794). For HR related matters, please contact Mathilde Høgalmen ([email protected]).

    The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is therefore a goal. It is also a goal to recruit people with immigrant backgrounds. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

    The University of Bergen applies a principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.

    Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

    Further information about the employment process can be found here.

    Life as a PhD candidate at UiB

    Marion Claireaux tells about life and work as a PhD candidate at UiB.

    About UiB

    The University of Bergen is a renowned educational and research institution, organised into seven faculties and approximately 54 institutes and academic centres. Campus is located in the centre of Bergen with university areas at Nygårdshøyden, Haukeland, Marineholmen, Møllendalsveien and Årstad.

    There are seven departments and several centres at Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Read more about the faculty and departments.


    9th February 2023


    University of Bergen




    Fulltime (1 positions) Fulltime (%)


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    Institutt for biovitenskap

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