Associate Researcher in population dynamics of grey

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 28 Apr 2021

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 53 500 students and 6 500 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

At the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences (BioEnv) we have teaching and research activities that stretch from the alpine ecosystem, through forests, cultivated land and streams, all the way into the marine environment. In these environments we study different levels of biological organisation from genes, individuals and populations, to communities and ecosystems. We work within ecology, evolution, physiology, systematics and combinations of these fields in order to understand the impact of natural and anthropogenic changes of the environment.

The department is placed at three different localities: in Gothenburg Botanical garden, at Medicinarberget in Gothenburg and Kristineberg Marine Research Station. The current position is placed at Medicinarberget.

Project description

The current project is about the population dynamics of the Baltic grey seal. After a historical bottleneck the population has been increasing in numbers since the 1980th, but in the last seven years the rate of increase has declined and there are signs of retarded growth in young seals despite the population is still below historical abundances. In the current program the phenomena will be carefully investigated through population modeling and compilation of empirical data; -how does mortality of pups vary among years? -how is the long-term trend affected by environmental variation and hunting? In order to analyze such questions a new, detailed population viability analysis (PVA) model will be developed for the grey seal population and the effects of prey availability, hunting and climate (affecting breeding ice distribution) on seal health and population extinction risk will be evaluated.

The project will contribute important information for the management of the grey seal population and communication with stake holders and the general public is important. The project is financed by the Environmental Protection Agency and is likely to be extended for an additional two years.

We now seek a biologist, biostatistician, computer scientist or the equivalent with a strong interest in marine mammal ecology and with excellent skills in statistics and modeling. The project will occur in collaboration with several scientists with expertise in ecology, veterinarian science and mathematics both nationally and internationally.

The current position involves mainly theoretical work with statics, modeling and scientific writing of articles in collaboration with the other researchers involved. Some field work and communication in popular science is also part of the tasks.

Job assignments

The current position involves work with computer software such as R, MATLAB, Excel, SPSS or the equivalent. Techniques applied will be literature reviews, modelling, compilation of large databases and authoring of scientific articles. Subject areas of relevance for the project are population dynamics, marine mammal ecology, trophic interactions, statistics and mathematical modelling.

The employment

This is a fixed-term employment for 11 months, 100%, starting date as soon as possible or upon agreement. Depending on the funding agency the project is likely to be extended for two additional year and thus the position will be announced again according to regulations.


Eligible to be employed as an Associate Researcher is a person with a university degree on a basic or advanced level with focus on population dynamics/ theoretical biology/biostatistics or the equivalent. A PhD exam in relevant subject is strongly meritorious but not required.


We are seeking a motivated person in the subject population dynamic modelling of marine mammals. What is necessary for the employment are excellent skills in statistics, programming and interdisciplinary collaboration, and in addition it is required to have excellent skills in reading and writing scientific English. Advantageous skills for the position are documented experience in research in population biology or the equivalent, familiarity with statistical analysis and to be able to independently define interesting research questions. Skills in collaboration and interest in communication and outreach is required.

The application should preferably be written in Englishand must include:

  • A short cover letter with the applicant’s justification for the application, i.e., that describes how the applicant meets the selection criteria
  • A list of qualifications (CV)
  • Copy of certificate of exam
  • Publication list

The top ranked candidates will be selected for an interview, which might be held in English and could also be performed by phone/Zoom.

How to apply
In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

The application must be received no later than: 2021-04-28

For further information please contact

Karin Hårding, Associate Professor
Phone: 46-76-618 3644


Henrik Aronsson, Professor and Head of Department
Phone: +46 31 786 48 02


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

Information for International Applicants

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The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.

Salary is determined on an individual basis.

Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.

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