PhD Research Fellowship in Vegetation Ecology

University of Oslo
January 15, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

Natural History Museum

PhD Research Fellowship in Vegetation Ecology Job description

Applications are invited for a position as PhD Research Fellow in vegetation ecology at the Natural History Museum (NHM), University of Oslo.

The fellowship will be for a period of 4 years with 25 % compulsory work (e.g., teaching responsibilities and curator work at the museum). The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

Appointment to a research fellowship is conditional upon admission to the Faculty's research training program. No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

Starting date as soon as possible, preferably no later than April 1, 2023.

More about the position

The candidate will work with treeline dynamics and ecology within the Geo- Ecology Research Group (GEco) at NHM in Oslo. The work will be done in collaboration with researchers from Department of Geosciences at University of Oslo, as well as other research groups in a collaborative consortium that includes national and international partners.

The GEco group aims to integrate biological, ecological, hydrological, meteorological, and geological knowledge, as well as the varying effects of human influence on nature. Members of GEco are interested in describing patterns of variation in nature, understanding the processes that generate and sustain them, and in facilitating practical use of ecological knowledge to the wider benefit of society. Through research of high international standard, GEco aims to be a driving force for geo-ecological analyses and modelling. Important shared GEco values are curiosity, engagement, openness, and willingness to share knowledge and data. GEco focuses on integrative research, with respect to methods and approaches, research fields, spatial and temporal scales, biodiversity levels and groups of organisms.

High-latitude treelines are migrating to higher locations. The causes and rates of change, however, are not yet well described and understood. Reviews have pointed out that there is an urgent need to improve the understanding of processes leading to distributional time-lags, to separate effects of contemporary processes, and to make progress on understanding feedbacks and interactions with the climate system. There is a need for more re-sampling of treelines detected previously (50-150 years ago), combined with statistical analyses and model experiments.

The PhD project is interdisciplinary, leaning on methods from vegetation ecology, spatial modelling and machine learning, and ecological climatology. The PhD project will gather new treeline data from Norway and use data from a citizen science project (Natur i endring). In addition, previously sampled sites will be re-sampled, and the data used to analyse statistical relationships and understanding processes regulating treeline dynamics. The PhD project will use a dynamic vegetation model (FATES) linked to the Norwegian Earth System Model (NorESM) for model experiments.

Qualification requirements

We seek a highly motivated, enthusiastic, hard-working and competent candidate with good collaborative skills.

The candidate needs the following formal qualifications:

  • Master's degree (or equivalent) in Biology with a specialization or clear profile in vegetation ecology. Alternatively, a master's degree (or equivalent) in Geoscience with a specialization or clear profile in ecological climatology or geo-ecology (interdisciplinary)
  • Foreign completed degrees (M.Sc.-level) must correspond to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system
  • The candidate should have broad knowledge about ecological theory and methods.
  • Basic programming knowledge, e.g. experience in using R or Python
  • Good communication skills (including written and spoken English), and a clear intention of learning Norwegian
  • It is an advantage - but not a requirement - to have experience in the following areas:

  • Statistical data analysis
  • Geographic Information Systems and spatial analyses (e.g. spatial modelling, distribution modelling)
  • Knowledge about treeline dynamics and field-based sampling in mountain regions
  • Knowledge about Earth System Models and Dynamic Global Vegetation Models
  • Communication in one of the Nordic languages
  • 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.
  • English requirements for applicants from outside of EU/ EEA countries and exemptions from the requirements: https: // www.
  • Personal skills
  • Outdoor experience and driver license is needed for participation in field work
  • The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

    The fellowship requires admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The application to the PhD programme must be submitted to the department no later than two months after taking up the position. For more information see:

    https:// www.

    https:// www.

    We offer
  • Salary NOK 501 200 – 544 400 per annum depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement
  • Vibrant international academic environment
  • Career development programmes
  • Oslo's family-friendly surroundings with their rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities
  • How to apply

    The application must include:

  • A cover letter (one page) explaining the candidate's background, qualifications, and how/why the candidate is qualified for the position
  • 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 why the candidate is motivated for the position and how a PhD in the actual research field will fit into the applicant's career plan
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, affiliation, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number). The references will be contacted if necessary. Letters of recommendation are therefore not required for the initial application
  • 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 or a Scandinavian language.

    In the assessment of applications, particular emphasis will be placed upon the academic merits and personal ability of the candidate to complete the project successfully within the given timeframe and write a PhD thesis under supervision. Interviews with selected candidates will be arranged.

    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

    Professor Anders Bryn:

    Questions regarding the recruiting system and the application procedure: 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.


    15th January 2023


    University of Oslo




    Fulltime (1 positions) Fulltime (%)


    Fixed Term

    Place of service


    From this employer

    Recent blogs

    Recent news