Postdoctoral position (postdoc) on pasture parasites and antihelmintic resistance in cattle

Updated: 5 months ago
Deadline: 29 May 2019

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

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NMBU has 1700 employees and 5200 students and is organized in seven faculties. NMBU has a campus in Ås and in Oslo. In the autumn of 2020 we are co-located on Ås.

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About the position

Department of Food Safety and Infection Biology has a vacant 2-year full-time position as a postdoctoral fellow (postdoc) in the field of cattle parasites and anthelmintic resistance.

The position is part of the BoviPar project (Sustainable control of pasture parasites in cattle in Norway), which is being led by the Department of Production Animal Medicine (ProdMed) at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at NMBU.

The main objective of the project is to contribute to sustainable cattle production in Norway through increased knowledge regarding the occurrence and significance of grazing parasites of cattle and improved diagnostic tests of these. This will be accomplished by mapping the occurrence and importance of pasture parasites, establishing and evaluating diagnostic methods to detect and quantify these parasites, and investigating the occurrence of anthelmintic resistance in these parasites.

The postdoc will primarily focus on establishing / developing molecular methods for detecting relevant parasites in cattle and comparing these methods with traditional methods. Establishing methods for identifying anthelmintic resistance in the same parasites will also be a component of the postdoc’s tasks.

The project is an interdisciplinary collaborative project between ProdMed and MatInf at NMBU, as well as Ghent University and the University of Prince Edward Island. In addition to this postdoctoral position, there is also a PhD position in the project, and it is anticipated that the Postdoc and the PhD student will collaborate on parts of the project.

The project is funded by the Research Funds for Agriculture and the Food Industry. Financial and scientific support will also be provided by Animalia, TINE, and NABAS.

Main tasks

  • Establish/develop, optimize and evaluate molecular methods regarding their suitability for sensitive, specific and cost-effective detection and quantification of grazing parasites in Norwegian large stock, with special emphasis on Fasciola hepatica and Ostertagia ostertagi.
    • Relevant techniques include: PCR, qPCR, ddPCR, lectin-binding assays, microscopy and fluorescence microscopy, faecal egg count reduction test (FECRT), ELISA.
  • Optimize / adapt existing methods for detection of anthelmintic resistance.
    • Relevant techniques include: PCR, qPCR, ddPCR, various forms of gene sequencing, FECRT
  • Using the above methods, contribute to investigations on the occurrence of gastrointestinal nematodes in Norwegian cattle, including mapping the prevalence of anthelmintic resistance in these parasites, in collaboration with a PhD student who will be employed on the same project. This will also include collection of stool samples from various production animal sites in Norway. Some travel during these sample collection periods should be expected.
  • Contribute to analyses of data generated in the project and to their publication.

Qualifications and skills

To be eligible for this position, the applicant must have completed a PhD within a relevant field, for example parasitology or microbiology. The applicant must be able to demonstrate interest in this field of study and must be able to document working with at least some of the techniques listed above. Good English skills, both written and oral, will be essential for collaboration with international partners and presenting project results in international fora.

Required academic qualifications

  • PhD in a relevant field (e.g., veterinary parasitology or microbiology)
  • Research experience with molecular methods and microscopy
  • Competence and motivation to work independently
  • Fluent in written and spoken English

Desired academic qualifications

  • Experience with both light and fluorescence microscopy
  • Experience with ddPCR and development of protocols for this method
  • Experience with analysing sequencing data
  • Conversant in Norwegian

Required personal characteristics and skills

  • Flexibility to travel away during periods of sample collection
  • High degree of motivation
  • Good ability to work independently and effectively
  • Good collaborative skills
  • Good ability to prioritize tasks and to understand, apply, and reflect upon research findings, and to develop hypotheses

Remuneration and information

The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1352 Post-doctoral Fellow, wage framework 24, salary grade 59-70 (NOK 515 200 - 631 700), depending on qualifications. Ordinary meriting regulations apply.

For further information, please contact professor Lucy Robertson by phone +47 67 23 22 99 or by email: ; eller Kristoffer Relling Tysnes by phone +47 67 23 22 60 or by email:

General information to applicants


To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply for this job' button above. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Application deadline: May 29th 2019

Printed material which cannot be sent electronically should be sent by surface mail to Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Department of Food Safety and Infection Biology, P.O. Box 369, 0102 Oslo, within 29.05.2019 . Please quote reference number 19/02224 .

About Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (VET) at NMBU is the country's only veterinary professional education institution and provides expertise in veterinary medicine and veterinary public health. The Faculty educates veterinarians, animal nurses and doctoral students in Veterinary Science and researches in veterinary medicine and related biomedical fields. We have 500 students and 430 employees.

VET consists of the departments Basal and Aquamedicine, Food Safety and Infection Biology, Production Animal Medicine and Sports and Family Animal Medicine. We also run the University Animal Hospital, which is closely linked to our research and education, and receives patients from all over the country.

Department of Food Safety and Infection Biology consists of three sections: Section for Pharmacology and Toxicology, Section for Food Safety, and Section for Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology.

The Department's main tasks are to provide research-based teaching of veterinary and veterinary nursing students, and to conduct research at a high international level, within the areas of food safety and fish & animal health. In addition, a considerable work focus is associated with the various service and reference functions of the department for both public and private agencies.

VET is today located at Campus Adamstuen in Oslo. In August 2020, we will move into new beautiful premises at Campus Ås.

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