Postdoc in ancient environmental DNA analysis at the Globe Institute

Updated: 6 months ago
Deadline: 03 Apr 2023

We are looking for a highly motivated and dynamic postdoctoral researcher to work on marine environmental DNA time series data, i.e. high-throughput sequencing metabarcoding and library preparation, sequence data processing, ecological analyses, for a 2-year position to commence around June 2023 or thereafter.

The position will be based at the Section for Molecular Ecology and Evolution at the Globe Institute, University of Copenhagen. Information on the department can be found at:

Our research
The successful candidate will be part of the Environmental DNA Group in the Section for Molecular Ecology and Evolution at the Globe Institute, University of Copenhagen ( ). The group currently consists of three postdocs, three PhD students, and one research assistant. We use environmental DNA and high-throughput sequencing to assess biodiversity, encompassing both technical and applied environmental DNA studies.
The group is inclusive, multinational and has a collaborative mind-set. The day-to-day language is English. Furthermore, you will be part of the wider (ancient) environmental DNA and computational biology community at the Globe Institute. The Globe Institute’s main purpose is to address basic scientific questions through interdisciplinary approaches. The institute operates at the intersection of natural sciences, medical sciences and the humanities.

Your job
The successful candidate will be part of the Copenhagen group of the ERC Synergy project, SEACHANGE ( ), in which a cross-disciplinary approach is adopted to assess the impact of major cultural transitions on marine ecosystem functioning and biodiversity. Apart from ancient environmental DNA analyses, the overall project includes classical zooarchaeology, stable isotope analyses, dating methods, marine historical ecology and ecosystem modelling.

A major focus of the role will be research into marine biodiversity changes across the European Mesolithic-Neolithic transition (from foraging to farming), specifically Southern Scandinavia (Work Package 1). The successful candidate will undertake DNA extraction, metabarcoding, next-generation sequencing, bioinformatic and ecological analysis of ancient environmental DNA from collected marine sediments and midden samples provided by project partners. Through collaboration with project partners the candidate will analyse a cross-disciplinary dataset of marine biodiversity changes, human impact and paleoclimate. Although material has already been collected, there are opportunities for further field collections from archaeological sites throughout Denmark. The main partners will be Prof Oliver Craig and Dr Harry Robson, University of York.

Beyond the main objective, there are opportunities for the successful candidate to develop the project according to their interests and contribute to other work packages within the project. Additionally, there are opportunities to contribute to and lead novel methodological research to improve and develop laboratory and bioinformatic workflows for the analysis of ancient environmental DNA.

Advisors will be Associate Professor Kristine Bohmann, Associate Professor Shyam Gopalakrishnan, and Assistant Professor Mikkel Winther Pedersen, all from Globe Institute.

We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic scientist with the following competencies and experience.

Essential experience and skills

  • You have a PhD in computational / marine/ molecular biology, archaeology or related fields.
  • You are experienced in computational analyses of environmental DNA data and/or community data analysis.
  • You have worked on environmental DNA, ancient DNA data processing, metabarcoding and/or ecological analyses of time-series data.
  • You have an active interest in methods for using modern and ancient eDNA time-series data to assess biodiversity through time.
  • Proficient communication skills and ability to work in teams.
  • An excellent publication track-record commensurate with career stage.
  • Due to the Institute’s international profile, it is required that the applicant is fluent in written and spoken English.

Desirable experience and skills:

  • Interest in marine biodiversity change and human-environment interactions.
  • Knowledge of ancient/environmental DNA laboratory workflows.
  • Experience in statistical analysis in the field of eDNA, i.e. compositional data analysis.
  • We put strong emphasis on interest in working in a project in which many disciplines are in play and for you to take ownership of your project while having a collaborative mindset and ability to work as part of a team.

Place of employment
The place of employment is at the section for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, Globe Institute, University of Copenhagen (Øster Farimagsgade 5A, 1353 Copenhagen). We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include state-of-the-art ancient and environmental DNA laboratories, the associated National High-throughput DNA Sequencing Centre and computational servers to successfully complete the postdoc tasks.

About Globe Institute
The Globe Institute is part of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. The Institute’s main purpose is to address basic scientific questions through interdisciplinary approaches. The institute operates at the intersection of natural and medical sciences and the humanities. Information on the institute can be found at:

The Globe Institute is committed to creating an inclusive and diverse environment where employees and students can belong and thrive. See website for more information. All qualified applicants will receive full consideration. Candidates who, through their research, teaching, and/or service, contribute to diversity and competencies of our Institute are encouraged to apply. The University of Copenhagen strives to offer a family friendly and flexible working environment with a sustainable balance between work- and private life, including parental leave schemes (up to 47 weeks for both parents) and up to six weeks of paid holidays per year. Researchers that have not been tax liable in Denmark for the last 10 years can apply for a special (reduced) tax scheme. The university offers a variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families.

Terms of employment
The average weekly working hours are 37 hours per week.

The position is a fixed-term position limited to a period of 2 years. The starting date is on 1 June 2023 or thereafter.

Salary, pension and other conditions of employment are set in accordance with the Agreement between the Ministry of Taxation and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) or other relevant organisation. Currently, the monthly salary starts at 35,728 DKK/approx. 4,800 EUR (October 2022 level). Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated. The employer will pay an additional 17.1 % to your pension fund.

Foreign and Danish applicants may be eligible for tax reductions, if they hold a PhD degree and have not lived in Denmark the last 10 years.

The position is covered by the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities 2020.

For further information please contact Associate Professor Kristine Bohmann, Section for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, Globe Institute at University of Copenhagen,, Direct Phone: +45 40750521.


Dr Luke E. Holman (SEACHANGE postdoc), Section for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, Globe Institute at University of Copenhagen,

Application procedure
Your online application must be submitted in English by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. Furthermore, your application must include the following documents/attachments – all in PDF format:

1.      Motivated letter of application (max. one page).

2.      CV incl. education, work/research experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position.

3.      A certified/signed copy of a) PhD certificate and b) Master of Science certificate. If the PhD is not completed, a written statement from the supervisor will do.

4.      List of publications.

Deadline for applications: 3 April 2023, 23.59pm CET.
We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor. Once the assessment work has been completed each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

You can read about the recruitment process at

The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

Interviews are expected to be held in late April. 

The University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and encourage all qualified candidates to apply regardlessof personal background.

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

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