2-year Postdoctoral Research Position in Bioinformatics and Molecular Ecology

Updated: 4 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 15 Feb 2023

15th February 2023

  • English

2-year Postdoctoral Research Position in Bioinformatics and Molecular Ecology
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NORCE is a forward-looking research institute, with expertise in a wide range of fields and strong communities of knowledge. We deliver research and innovation in energy, health care, climate, the environment, society and technology.

Our solutions address key challenges for society and contribute to value creation on the local, national and global levels.


About Climate and Environment division

NORCE Climate and Environment division employs ca. 160 researchers conducting both basic and applied research on past, present and future climate systems, as well as research and development for sustainable use and management of the environment and natural resources.

About the position

We have a vacancy for a 2-year postdoctoral research assistant (PDRA) position at NORCE Climate & Environment division in Bergen, Norway, which may be extended. Desired starting date: as soon as possible, and by agreement with research group leader.

The position is in the field of bioinformatics, biostatistics and machine learning applied to marine microbial ecology questions. The associated research projects, where NORCE is involved, are funded by the Horizon Europe program and are cross-disciplinary and synergetic. These projects are: BIOcean5D: “marine biodiversity assessment and prediction across spatial, temporal and human scales” and ANERIS “operAtional seNsing lifE technologies for maRIne ecosystemS”.

The successful PDRA candidate is expected to contribute to both BIOcean5D and ANERIS by respectively i) identifying new DNA-based indicators of marine ecosystems health and ii) improving and extending the capabilities of an existing sequencing data processing pipeline  .

We are therefore seeking a highly motivated candidate to strengthen our enthusiastic, cross-disciplinary research group in Molecular Ecology and Paleogenomics (MEP) that has expertise in developing and applying molecular tools to address research questions in environmental biomonitoring and (paleo)oceanography.

Projects background

Marine ecosystems are threatened by continuous expansion of urban areas and industrial activities. Innovative solutions could emerge from the development of molecular tools for the monitoring of biological communities to detect and measure the specificity and the magnitude of environmental impacts. Although multiple dimensions of the information delivered by DNA sequencing technologies show great promise, many others remain unexplored. Hence, the development of powerful bioinformatics tools and robust statistical analyses are required to comprehend and fully exploit patterns of biodiversity changes and ensure fast and reliable assessments for more informed and timely environmental management.

Work tasks

Your task will be to analyse multiple large eukaryotic 18S metabarcoding datasets (hundreds to thousands of water and sediment samples) using advanced multivariate statistics and machine learning techniques, to identify robust new DNA-based indicators of marine ecosystems health. You will also be expected to develop and extend the capabilities of the SLIM metabarcoding pipeline to include long-reads, metagenomics and metatranscriptomics data processing modules. Specific work tasks include:

  • Conduct bioinformatic and statistical analyses to integrate and mine multiple metabarcoding datasets, together with environmental metadata coming from in-situ measurements, climate models, and satellite-based land use estimates.  
  • Improve the SLIM processing pipeline, by consolidating existing code and by integrating new modules.
  • Publish in relevant peer-reviewed journals, attend to projects meetings and international conferences.
  • Assist the MEP team with bioinformatics and statistics.

Required qualifications, skills and experience

A PhD degree in bioinformatics, biostatistics, molecular ecology, or relevant field is required.

Applicants are expected to have:

  • Excellent skills in at least one of the following: multivariate statistics, machine learning, ecological network inference coupled with strong skills in data visualization, using R or Python.
  • Experience in high-throughput sequencing data analysis (metabarcoding and/or metatranscriptomics and/or metagenomics).
  • Experience in the development of bioinformatics tools using version controls tools, such as git. 
  • Experience in the node.js framework or in the JavaScript language is a big plus, but not mandatory.
  • Experience in microbial ecology is a plus but not mandatory.

We can offer:
  • Exciting tasks and good colleagues in an internationally leading and recognized professional environment
  • Collaboration with academic staff and students at universities and colleges
  • Opportunities to work with exciting research tasks, create new projects and expand your network together with NORCE
  • Interdisciplinary work in and across teams
  • Good opportunities for professional and personal development in an organization that values good performance
  • Varied and flexible working day

How to apply

Your application must include:

  • A brief account of your research interests and specific motivation for applying (max. 1 page)
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of publications.
  • Names and contact details of at least two references persons.
  • Transcripts, diplomas and relevant certificates.

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at our recruitment portal Jobbnorge.

General information

For additional information about the position, you can contact Tristan Cordier  or HR advisor Julia Dale  

Application deadline: February 15th, 2023.

Apply for this job

15th February 2023




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