Postdoctoral position (2 years) in conifer genomics

Updated: about 2 months ago

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest higher education institutions with over 37,000 students and about 4,700 employees. The University offers a diversity of high-quality education and world-leading research in several fields. Notably, the groundbreaking discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was made here. At Umeå University, everything is close. Our cohesive campuses make it easy to meet, work together and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture.

The ongoing societal transformation and large green investments in northern Sweden create enormous opportunities and complex challenges. For Umeå University, conducting research about – and in the middle of – a society in transition is key. We also take pride in delivering education to enable regions to expand quickly and sustainably. In fact, the future is made here.

The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, invites applicants for a postdoctoral position in genomics of climate adaptation and pathogen resistance of conifer trees. The position is full time for two years starting in March 2024 or by agreement. Application deadline is 31st of Dec. 2023.

Project description
Climate change is expected to have a strong impact on the boreal forest ecosystem, both directly through extreme weather conditions and indirectly through changes in species composition and pests and pathogen prevalence. The postdoc’s tasks will be a fundamental part of a larger project that explores a time series of observations on fungal pathogen infection in Scots pine populations and progeny testing trials to understand the genetic basis of resistance, and model population responses under different climate scenarios. The database of genotyped trees and their corresponding phenotypes will be explored to develop tools for improving the efficiency of resistance breeding in Scots pine. The project is a collaboration between Umeå University and the Forestry Research Institute of Sweden (Skogforsk).

The work will be bioinformatics heavy, focusing on the characterization of structural genomic variation in Scots pine, and its role in fungal resistance and other quantitative traits by using long-read sequencing technique. The duties include generating long-read sequence data, characterizing structural variation in breeding populations, conducting GWAS, and publishing research findings. The postdoc will have the opportunities to develop own research interests and network, and contribute to other ongoing projects in the research team.

To be appointed under the postdoctoral agreement, the postdoctoral fellow is required to have completed a doctoral degree or a foreign degree deemed equivalent to a doctoral degree. This qualification requirements must be fulfilled no later than at the time of the appointment decision.

To be appointed under the postdoctoral agreement, priority should be given to candidates who completed their doctoral degree, according to what is stipulated in the paragraph above, no later than three years prior. If there are special reasons, candidates who completed their doctoral degree prior to that may also be eligible. Special reasons include absence due to illness, parental leave, appointments of trust in trade union organisations, military service, or similar circumstances, as well as clinical practice or other forms of appointment/assignment relevant to the subject area. Postdoctoral fellows who are to teach or supervise must have taken relevant courses in teaching and learning in higher education.

For this position, the candidate must hold a PhD in genetics/genomics, computational biology, or a related field at the time of recruitment. The ideal candidate will have proven experience in plant genome assembly, mapping and annotation, along with proficiency in bioinformatics using high-performance computing clusters. Additional knowledge in population or quantitative genetics of forest trees, pan-genome analysis, and programming skills (e.g., R, Python) is highly desirable. The successful candidate should be highly motivated, uphold good communication skills in English and has good work ethics, and be capable of collaborative teamwork.

How to apply
You apply through Umeå University´s recruitment system. Log on to the system and apply via the web page link. Documents sent electronically should be in either Word or PDF format. The application should contain the following written in English (preferably) or Swedish:

A cover letter describing your research interests and motivation (max. 2 A4 pages). A CV detailing your education and previous research experience. A list of your publications (submitted manuscripts can be included; specify your contribution to each work) A copy of your PhD degree and a summary of your thesis. Names and contact details of three references who can be contacted by telephone or e-mail.

For more information, contact Prof. Xiao-Ru Wang ([email protected]).

The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science ( carries out research and postgraduate education in ecology, environmental science and physical geography. The department has about 150 employees, about 20 of whom are post docs.

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