Post-Doc in Salmonid Fish Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics and/or Functional Genetics

Updated: about 1 month ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 21 Jun 2022

The University of Helsinki is an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. It is one of the leading multidisciplinary research universities and ranks among the top 100 international universities in the world.

We are an equal opportunity employer and offer an attractive and diverse workplace in an inspiring environment with a variety of development opportunities and benefits.

The Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences is Finland’s most high-profile and extensive hub of research and teaching in the field. The Faculty educates experts to meet the needs of universities, research institutes, government, schools and the business sector.

Professor Craig Primmer's research group is inviting applications for:


Up to 3 post-doctoral positions are available at the University of Helsinki, Finland working in Prof. Craig Primmer’s research group ( ) as a part of a recently funded ERC project entitled “Life history genes in fishes: bridging functional and evolutionary genetics for understanding life history trait evolution”.

Successful applicants will likely have a strong background in one or more of the themes listed below, but the specific combination of expertise is flexible, with the overall composition of the team being most important.

Reaction norms and quantitative genetics of fitness-related traits (morphological, physiological, behavioral) linked to large effect loci in Atlantic salmon and Rainbow trout in common garden and semi-natural conditions, and associated data analyses (some data already available).

Relevant group publications: Debes et al. 2021; Åsheim et al. 2022; Bangura et al. 2022

Population and evolutionary genetics of large effect life history-linked genes in long-term time series, links to life-history variation, and associations with environmental factors across a latitudinal gradient of 12 European Atlantic salmon populations.

Relevant group publications: Czorlich et al. 2018, 2022

Reproductive fitness and strength of selection on large-effect life history-linked genes in natural salmon populations.

Relevant group publications: Czorlich et al. 2018; Mobley et al. 2019, 2020

Molecular functions underlying genotype-life history associations:

Functional genomic (including CRISPR), cellular and/or physiological approaches for understanding how the candidate genes, and genes they interact with, influence life history traits in salmon and trout, and their sex-specific effects.

Relevant publications: Kurko et al. 2020; Verta et al. 2020; Ahi et al. 2022

Appointees to the positions shall hold a doctoral degree and have the ability to conduct independent scholarly work. Suitable applicants will likely have a strong background in at least some of the approaches listed above, although the species/system with which they have experience is less important. The ability to work as a part of a larger research team addressing related questions is also important.

Informal inquiries can be directed to Professor Craig Primmer ( ).

Formal applications should include as a single pdf file:

  • a CV including a list of publications and with names and contact details of at least two referees
  • a max. 2 page letter of motivation

To apply, please submit your application using the University of Helsinki electronic recruitment system by clicking on Apply for job via

The deadline for applications is 16:15 EEST on Tuesday 21 June 2022.

The positions are available immediately but start dates up until the beginning of 2023 will be considered (although an earlier start is preferred).

The positions are initially available until 12/2025, but a 1-2 year extension may be possible. The salary will be based on level 5 of the demands level chart for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal performance with the overall starting salary amounting to c. 3200-3600 EUR per month, depending on the previous relevant research experience of the candidate.

Finland is a member of the EU, has high quality free schooling (also in English), very affordable childcare, generous family benefits and healthcare, and has been ranked as the world’s happiest country three years running and the best country in the world for expat families. The University of Helsinki is a top 100 ranked university in most ranking lists, and is currently investing heavily in life science research (see ) and the City of Helsinki is in the world’s top ten most livable cities. Primmer’s research group currently consists of 2 post docs, 7 PhD students and 3 research assistants with 9 different nationalities. The salmonid fish research field has traditionally lacked gender and cultural diversity, but the group is committed to helping to influence a change and we therefore strongly encourage applications from researchers with diverse backgrounds. Successful applicants are expected to adhere to the university and research group’s codes of conduct

Relevant group publications:

Ahi, E. P., Sinclair-Waters, M., Moustakas-Verho, J., Jansouz, S., & Primmer, C. R. (2022). Strong regulatory effects of vgll3 genotype on reproductive axis gene expression in juvenile male Atlantic salmon. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 325, 114055. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2022.114055

Bangura, P. B., Tiira, K., Niemelä, P. T., Erkinaro, J., Liljeström, P., Toikkanen, A., & Primmer, C. R. (2022). Linking vgll3 genotype and aggressive behaviour in juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Journal of Fish Biology, (online early) doi: 10.1111/jfb.15040

Barson et al. (2015) Sex-dependent dominance at a single locus maintains variation in age at maturity in salmon. Nature 528:405–408.

Czorlich, Y., Aykanat, T., Erkinaro, J., Orell, P., & Primmer, C. R. (2018). Rapid sex-specific evolution of age at maturity is shaped by genetic architecture in Atlantic salmon. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 2(11), 1800–1807. doi: 10.1038/s41559-018-0681-5

Czorlich, Y., Aykanat, T., Erkinaro, J., Orell, P., & Primmer, C. R. (2022). Rapid evolution in salmon life history induced by direct and indirect effects of fishing. Science, 376(6591), 420–423. doi: 10.1126/science.abg5980

Debes, P. V., Piavchenko, N., Ruokolainen, A., Ovaskainen, O., Moustakas-Verho, J. E., Parre, N., … Primmer, C. R. (2021). Polygenic and major-locus contributions to sexual maturation timing in Atlantic salmon. Molecular Ecology, 30, 4505–4519. doi: 10.1111/mec.16062

Kurko, J., Debes, P. V., House, A. H., Aykanat, T., Erkinaro, J., & Primmer, C. R. (2020). Transcription profiles of age-at-maturity-associated genes suggest cell fate commitment regulation as a key factor in the Atlantic salmon maturation process. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, 10(1), 235–246. doi: 10.1534/g3.119.400882

Mobley, K. B., Granroth-Wilding, H., Ellmen, M., Vähä, J.-P., Aykanat, T., Johnston, S. E., … Primmer, C. R. (2019). Home ground advantage: Local Atlantic salmon have higher reproductive fitness than dispersers in the wild. Science Advances, 5(2), eaav1112. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aav1112

Mobley, K. B., Granroth‐Wilding, H., Ellmén, M., Orell, P., Erkinaro, J., & Primmer, C. R. (2020). Time spent in distinct life history stages has sex‐specific effects on reproductive fitness in wild Atlantic salmon. Molecular Ecology,29(6), 1173–1184. doi: 10.1111/mec.15390

Verta, J.-P., Debes, P. V., Piavchenko, N., Ruokolainen, A., Ovaskainen, O., Moustakas-Verho, J. E., … Primmer, C. R. (2020). Cis-regulatory differences in isoform expression associate with life history strategy variation in Atlantic salmon. PLOS Genetics, 16(9), e1009055. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1009055

Åsheim, E. R., Prokkola, J. M., Morozov, S., Aykanat, T., & Primmer, C. R. (2022). Standard metabolic rate does not associate with age-at-maturity genotype in juvenile Atlantic salmon. Ecology and Evolution, 12(1), e8408. doi: 10.1002/ece3.8408

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