Postdoctoral position (2 years) in Ecosystem Ecology – Synthesis of response decomposition responses to climate change

Updated: 29 days ago
Deadline: 23 May 2021

The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science (Umeå University, Sweden) invites applicants for a postdoctoral position (2 years) in “Ecosystem Ecology – Synthesis of decomposition responses to climate change”, at the Climate Impacts Research Centre, Umeå University. The employment is on full time and will begin on July 1st, 2021 or according to agreement. Application deadline is May 23, 2021.

Project description and working tasks
Changes in climate may alter the delicate balance between carbon uptake and release, with potentially strong negative effects on the global climate. Organic carbon decay starts with the decomposition of fresh, relatively labile material, which is partly stabilized into more recalcitrant compounds. In the third stage of decomposition, soil organic material is slowly respired releasing carbon dioxide and methane. Across the world, standardized methods are used in climate change experiments (e.g. ITEX open-top chambers, snow fences). Besides vegetation changes, decomposition (e.g. Tea Bag Index) and soil carbon respiration are increasingly measured in these experiments. Such standardized, global/arctic approaches provide unique opportunities for meta-analyses. This postdoc project therefore aims to investigate how climate warming affects the three sequential phases of organic carbon decomposition on a regional (arctic) to global scale, include the importance seasonal dynamics and potentially microbial community structure.

The employment is limited to two years at full time. The position will be based in Umeå and Abisko, and the location where most of the time will be spend will be determined upon mutual agreement. The main advisors will be Dr. Ellen Dorrepaal and Dr. Judith M. Sarneel.

We are looking for a driven ecologist who is familiar with working with large datasets, to synthesize decomposition and soil carbon respiration data across global/arctic climate-warming experiments. To be eligible for this position you should have a PhD degree, or a foreign degree that is deemed equivalent, in plant or soil ecology, biogeochemistry, physical geography or a similar field. You should have completed your doctoral degree a maximum of three (3) years before the end of the application period, unless special circumstances exist, which should be specified in your application letter. The successful applicant should further have documented good abilities to communicate scientifically in English, both orally and written, as well as creativity, power of initiative, independence, interpersonal skills and good ability to collaborate. The successful candidate has strong quantitative skills and interest in plant-soil(-microbe) interactions in (arctic) terrestrial ecosystems. Strong merits are demonstrated experience with winter ecology, plant-soil-microbe interactions, decomposition or respiration measurements, meta-analyses or handling of large data-base analyses.

We offer
A supportive workplace; For questions about working and livin in Sweden contact our international staff support:

The full application should include:

  • A personal letter including a short summary of previous research achievements (max 2 pages)
  • Short description of your research ideas as they relate to this project (max 2 pages)
  • CV including list of publications
  • Certified copy of PhD degree certificate and other relevant certificates
  • Copies of PhD thesis and relevant publications (max 5)
  • Other documents wished to be claimed

You apply through our recruitment system on May 23, 2021 at the latest. The application should be written in English or Swedish. The documents should be in MS Word or PDF-format.

If you have questions regarding the employment, please contact Judith Sarneel:

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 coworkers, about 15 of whom are Postdocs. The Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC) in Abisko, Kiruna municipality, is part of the department and undertakes research in how climate and environmental changes affect the ecosystems of the north. For further information, see

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