Postdoctoral Researcher in Spatial Ecology and Conservation Planning

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 09 Feb 2023

The Conservation Biology Informatics Group (CBIG) and The Finnish Museum of Natural History (LUOMUS) invites applications for a

Postdoctoral Researcher in spatial ecology and conservation planning

for a 33-38 month fixed term position starting at May 2nd 2023 or as agreed.

CBIG is led by PIs Heini Kujala  and Atte Moilanen . We work on spatial conservation planning questions, including spatial ecological modelling and software development.

The position is part of the Horizon Europe project NaturaConnect  funded by the European Union. The goal of NaturaConnect is to develop a blueprint for a Trans-European Nature Network (TEN-N) of conserved and restored areas that support meeting the EU’s 2030 Biodiversity Strategy targets. The project works closely with selected EU Member States at national, regional and local levels. NaturaConnect brings together universities and research institutes, government bodies and non-governmental organizations from 15 EU Member States.

The researcher will work together with consortium  partners to identify priority biodiversity areas that support the climate resilience of the planned network. You will use spatial conservation optimisation tools, such as Zonation, to infer opportunities for conservation across multiple species, habitats and under different climate and land use scenarios, and carry out research to quantify the uncertainty associated to the drafted plan. Together with researchers from the Finnish Environmental Research Institute (SYKE) you will collect data and carry out analyses that support Finland to plan and meet its biodiversity targets. Five percent of working time will be devoted to teaching and supervision annually.


A successful applicant should meet the following criteria:

  •     A PhD in conservation biology, spatial ecology or a related field, with strong analytical skills. Alternatively, a PhD in geography and a strong and proven experience in ecology
  •     Ability to work with large spatial datasets, good skills in R (or equivalent) and GIS programs, and knowledge of spatial ecology are essential
  •     Track-record in publishing peer-reviewed scientific work
  •     Previous experience in working with conservation planning questions or software, climate change ecology and/or species distribution modelling are considered as an advantage
  •     Good organization and time management skills
  •     Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  •     Excellent verbal and written communication skills; our working language is English
  •     Good social skills for extensive collaborations

The University of Helsinki welcomes applicants from a variety of genders, linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Members of minorities and groups under-represented in academia are particularly encouraged to apply.


  •     A vibrant, international research environment, and a friendly and highly motivated working group
  •     Possibility to develop the research topic and suggest additional aspects to study within and beyond the NaturaConnect consortium
  •     An opportunity to create connections with some of the Europe’s top scientists, NGOs and research and governmental institutes
  •     An excellent platform to experience the cross-section of conservation science and policy at national and EU level
  •     A wonderful workplace (it’s a natural history museum!) and attractive working conditions, including the possibility of on-site or hybrid on-site/remote work, flexible working hours and work-life balance
  •     Goal-oriented staff development throughout your working life, with opportunities for continuing professional development, including free pedagogic and language training at the University


The starting salary will be ca. 3200–3600 euros/month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience.

The appointee is expected to reside in Finland while employed by the University of Helsinki. The University assists employees from abroad with their transition to work and life in Finland.

The University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development. Finland is a member of the EU, has high quality free schooling (also in English), generous family benefits and healthcare, and was recently ranked as the best country in the world for expat families. See more information about working at the University of Helsinki  and living in Finland


The requested starting date for the position is the 2nd of May 2023 or as agreed. There will be a trial period of six months in the beginning. Working part-time is negotiable but restricted by project length.

Please submit your application as a single pdf file, which includes the following documents in English:

  •     A letter of motivation, describing your research interests and relevant experience and how these address the position requirements (max. 1 page)
  •     Curriculum vitae including information on potential career breaks (max. 2 pages)
  •     List of publications (max. 2 pages)
  •     Digital copy of PhD certificate or equivalent (this can be in native language)
  •     Names and contact details of two referees who are willing to provide a reference letter by separate request.

External applicants, please submit your application to the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the Apply Now button. Applicants who have a username and a valid employment/grant/visitor contract at the University of Helsinki are requested to submit their application via the Employee login button.

The deadline for submitting applications is 9th of February 2023, 23:59 EET.

For more information about the position: Heini.Kujala(at) .


The Finnish National History Museum  is an independent research institute of University of Helsinki. In addition to its public exhibitions and national collections, the museum harbours a vibrant and active research community, and is the host of the Finnish National Biodiversity Information Facility (FinBIF). The museum employs roughly 140 workers, of which some 110 work with research, collections and information facility. The Finnish Natural History Museum is located in downtown Helsinki and is part of the University’s city centre campus.

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