PhD Research Fellow in coastal ecology

Agder University College
March 31, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
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PhD Research Fellow in coastal ecology About the position

University of Agder (UiA), Faculty of Engineering and Science is seeking a PhD candidate in marine ecology, affiliated to the Centre for Coastal Research (CCR), Department of Natural sciences. The position is located at Campus Kristiansand and at the Institute of Marine Research, Flødevigen, Arendal, and is linked to the project “The legacy of Dannevig: development of automated coastal monitoring (Arven)”.

Coastal ecosystems are highly dynamic and rapidly changing. Technological development in underwater monitoring methods (cameras, sonars etc.) now provide the opportunity for real time observations of coastal animals and their behaviours, such as spawning aggregations, predation, fishing gear interactions and diel activity patterns and seasonal rhythms. Such high- resolution data will improve our understanding of when and why the coastal ecosystems are changing – and how we may best protect it.

The topic of the PhD project is to study patterns and causes of spatiotemporal variation in abundance, size and key behaviour interactions in fish and crustaceans. The project will use observational technology (cameras and other sensors) in ongoing and planned video surveys that monitors the effect of MPAs in Raet marine national park. The candidate will be supported by a team that develops new observation methods and automated processing of video data using artificial intelligence and machine learning (computer vision) (The Arven and CoastVision projects). The work will mainly be done in close vicinity to IMR's Flødevigen research station and Campus Kristiansand, but research elsewhere in Norway is also possible.

The period of employment is three years. We would like the chosen candidate to start in the job at the earliest convenience, and no later than 1. August 2023.

The main supervisor will be Dr. Tonje Knutsen Sørdalen. Co-supervisors will be decided upon later.

  • Contribute to the development of machine vision for coastal ecology and to use new technology to answer questions relevant for basic marine research and management.
  • Design and lead various field experiments with observation technology (stereo underwater cameras, sonars, hydrophones etc.).
  • Write scientific papers.
  • May include some teaching duties. This will be detailed in your employee contract if applicable
  • Required qualifications
  • Master of Sciences in ecology or marine biology, or other relevant subject areas.
  • Must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program PhD program of the Faculty of Engineering and Science, Specialisation in Natural Sciences.
  • Proficiency in oral and written English is required.
  • Further provisions relating to the positions as PhD Research Fellows can be found in the Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant.

    Desired qualifications
  • Good statistical skills and experience with data analysis in R
  • Knowledge of temperate coastal ecosystems
  • Experience with quantitative analysis of behaviour
  • Experiences with setups and study design from field work
  • Experience with underwater cameras for fish monitoring
  • Personal qualities

    We seek a candidate that is creative, adaptive, and methodological organized when conducing work. The desired candidate enjoys collaborative projects but are also able to work independently. Good written and verbal communication skills in an academic setting as well as passion for robust and open science are advantageous.

    Personal qualities and suitability for the position will be emphasized.

    We offer
  • Exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong academic environment.
  • An open and inclusive work environment with dedicated colleagues.
  • Favorable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
  • More about working at UiA.

    The position is remunerated according to the State Salary Scale, salary plan 17.515, code 1017 PhD Research Fellow, NOK 501 200 gross salary per year. A compulsory pension contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund is deducted from the pay according to current statutory provisions.

    General information

    UiA is an open and inclusive university. We believe that diversity enriches the workplace and makes us better. We, therefore, encourage qualified candidates to apply for the position independent of gender, age, cultural background, disability or an incomplete CV.

    The successful applicant will have rights and obligations in accordance with the current regulations for the position, and organisational changes and changes in the duties and responsibilities of the position must be expected. The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning the acts relating to Control of Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Appointment is made by the University of Agder's Appointments Committee for Teaching and Research Positions.

    Short-listed applicants will be invited for interview. With the applicant's permission, UiA will also conduct a reference check before appointment. Read more about the employment process.

    In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act § 25 (2), applicants may request that they are not identified in the open list of applicants. The University, however, reserves the right to publish the names of applicants. Applicants will be advised of the University's intention to exercise this right.


    The application and any necessary information about education and experience (including diplomas and certificates) are to be sent electronically. Use the link " Apply for this job ".

    The following documentation must be uploaded electronically:

  • A one-page cover letter highlighting the applicant's relevant experience and motivation for the position.
  • Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees.
  • Link to full master thesis if published online.
  • Relevant references.
  • Academic work and other relevant projects and positions, as well as a list and links to the applicant's scientific publications (if any).
  • Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.

    In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates.

    Please do not submit large documents, like thesis or publications. If any additional information is required, the applicant will be informed later.

    The applicant is fully responsible for submitting complete digital documentation before the closing date. All documentation must be available in a Scandinavian language or English.

    UiA is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

    Application deadline: 31.03.23


    For questions about the position:

  • Tonje Knutsen Sørdalen, mobile +47 93 62 74 33, e-mail [email protected]
  • Hans Weinberger, Head of Department, mobile +47 48 89 83 97, e-mail [email protected]
  • For questions about the application process:

  • Linda Marie Anderstrøm, e-mail [email protected]
  • University of Agder

    The University of Agder has more than 1500 employees and almost 14 000 students. This makes us one of the largest workplaces in Southern Norway. Our staff research, teach and disseminate knowledge from a variety of academic fields. Co-creation of knowledge is our common vision. We offer a broad range of study programmes in many fields. We are situated at two modern campuses in Kristiansand and Grimstad respectively.

    We are an open and inclusive university marked by a culture of cooperation. The aim of the university is to further develop education and research at a high international level.


    31st March 2023


    University of Agder




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