PhD Research Fellowship in Evolutionary Genomics

University of Oslo
January 13, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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Natural History Museum

PhD Research Fellowship in Evolutionary Genomics Job description

Applications are invited for a 4 year position in a Research Fellowship as a PhD Candidate in Evolutionary Genomics to be based at the Natural History Museum, University of Oslo. The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree. The fellowship requires admission to the PhD program at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Appointment to a research fellowship is conditional upon admission to the Faculty's research training program. Compulsory service, duty work, shall represent 1 year of the total duration.

The position is tentatively scheduled to begin on 1 April 2023.

More about the position

The PhD project will focus on the role of introgression (genetic exchange between species through hybridization) in the adaptive radiation of Antarctic notothenioid fishes (“icefishes”). Introgression has been linked to some of the most explosive adaptive radiations such as African cichlid fishes, where hybridization between divergent lineages was considered the initial trigger of the radiation. Like these famous model systems, Antarctic icefishes have produced a vast number of species – around 100 – within a confined environment, and dominate the fauna in their habitat. However, the genomes of Antarctic icefishes seem to be far more dynamic than in other adaptive radiations, and thus hybridization may have had even stronger consequences for them.

In this project, the adaptive radiation of Antarctic icefishes will be analyzed with a massive genomic dataset, including whole genomes from multiple individuals for almost all icefish species. This dataset will allow the most extensive analyses to date of their history, their phylogeny, and the occurrence of past hybridization, and how these relate to climatic changes in Antarctica. In addition to these phylogenomic analyses, one part of the project will focus on the population genomics of two icefish species with a circum-Antarctic distribution to test whether potential past collapses of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet have left signals in their genomes.

The project will include molecular lab work in the modern DNA laboratory of the Natural History Museum, including the extraction of DNA from valuable museum specimens with ancient-DNA methodology. However, most of the work required for this project will be computational. In this computational work, state-of-the art tools will be used for phylogenomic and population genomic analyses, and new tools may be developed. All computational work will be performed on the powerful Norwegian supercomputer facilities, to which the PhD Candidate will have free and extensive access.

The PhD Candidate will be integrated into an international network of researchers on Antarctic biodiversity, particularly with the group of Chiara Papetti at the University of Padova and that of Santiago Ceballos at the University of Ushuaia. Within Norway, the PhD Candidate will benefit from the diverse, multidisciplinary, and well-funded research environment in Oslo (including e.g. the Natural History Museum and the Centre of Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis at the University of Oslo) and other national collaborations.

Being generously funded by the Research Council of Norway, the position includes funding for research visits to international museums, participation in the Evomics Workshop on Population and Speciation Genomics, attendance of international and national meetings (including the Evolution/ESEB meeting in Montreal 2024), and a four-month stay at the University of Padova. If the opportunity for field work in Antarctica should arise, the PhD Candidate would be invited to join.

The 4 years of the position include 1 year of “duty work”. The purpose of this duty work is to provide diverse training in transferable skills related to research in a museum environment. A wide range of activities can count as duty work, including participation in field work, teaching, outreach and collection curation; the total of the duty work performed should consist of a mix of two or more of these activities to ensure the training of a diverse set of skills.

The PhD Candidate will be associated with the research group of Michael Matschiner (Associate Professor of Vertebrate Zoology) at the Natural History Museum.

Qualification requirements
  • Applicants must hold a Master's degree or equivalent in biology or related disciplines like bioinformatics.
  • A good command of English is required: https: // www.
  • We are looking for candidates with a strong interest in the evolution of vertebrates, and with experience in the application of genomics and bioinformatics to address evolutionary questions.
  • Computational skills including experience with UNIX and programming (e.g. in Python or R) are required.
  • Grade requirements:

    The norm is as follows:

  • The average grade point for courses included in the Bachelor's degree must be C or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The average grade point for courses included in the Master's degree must be B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The Master's thesis must have the grade B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Preferred qualification:

    Skills in general molecular laboratory practices are preferrable.

    Evaluation of the application

    In assessing applications, particular emphasis will be placed upon the academic and personal ability of the candidate to complete the project within the given timeframe and to write a PhD thesis under supervision. Interviews with selected candidates will be arranged. Please also refer to the English translation of regulations pertaining to the conditions of employment for research fellowship positions: https: // www.

    We offer
  • Salary NOK 501 200 - 544 400 per annum depending on qualifications in a position as PhD Research fellow, (position code 1017).
  • A dynamic and friendly working environment, which is close to both the city center of Oslo, a vibrant and international city, and to nature parks and mountains.
  • Full funding of the project research-related activities, including presentation of results at international conferences, a research stay at the University of Padova, Italy, and participation in the Workshop on Population and Speciation Genomic.
  • Integration into a young and growing research group.
  • Membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
  • Attractive welfare benefits.
  • How to apply

    The application must include:

  • Application letter
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work, scientific publications and other relevant experience)
  • Copies of educational certificates
  • List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluating committee
  • A one-page statement explaining how a PhD in evolutionary genomics will fit into the applicant's career plan
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 referees (name, affiliation, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)
  • The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their university's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English.

    Formal regulations

    Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

    No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

    According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

    The appointment may be shortened/given a more limited scope within the framework of the applicable guidelines on account of any previous employment in academic positions.

    The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

    Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. Furthermore, we want employees with diverse professional expertise, life experience and perspectives.

    If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

    Contact information

    Questions regarding the position: Associate Professor Michael Matschiner: Questions regarding the recruiting system: HR-Adviser Thomas Brånå:

    About the University of Oslo

    The University of Oslo is Norway's oldest and highest ranked educational and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. With its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.

    The Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo is Norway's most comprehensive natural history collection. For almost 200 years, specimens of animals, fungi, plants, rocks, minerals and fossils have been collected, studied and preserved here. The museum is located at Økern and in the beautiful Botanical Garden, which is not only popular for recreation, but is a scientific collection in itself.


    13th January 2023


    University of Oslo




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