PhD Position in Evolutionary Ecology

Updated: 4 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 14 Jan 2022

About the position

The Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics at the Department of Biology, has a vacancy for a PhD position in evolutionary ecology of invertebrate responses to effects of hydropower.

The position is part of a large multidisciplinary project “Sustainable hydropower development and reservoir management as an enabler of the renewable energy transitional and an accelerator to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” (SusHydro) funded by NTNUs sustainability commitment. The project will identify and assess impacts and trade-offs of hydropower reservoir operations across SDGs and will develop scenarios and identify opportunities for best practice for hydropower development and operation. The position will be part of the proposed Gjærevoll centre for biodiversity and sustainable transitions.

The position announced here is located at the Department of Biology and the Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics (CBD). CBD is a multidisciplinary centre of excellence ( ) for research into changes in time and space of biological diversity at different organismal levels.

About the position

One fully financed PhD positions is available at the CBD, Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

The PhD project will focus on the relatively understudied responses of invertebrates to hydropower. Hydropower and energy storage in reservoirs is of great importance to achieving carbon neutral energy production and ensuring sustainability. At the same time, hydropower development and operations can have negative impacts on local ecosystems and biodiversity. The candidate will study how different species, as the building blocks of biodiversity, taking on different roles in the ecosystem, react to environmental changes, within the reservoirs as well as in the downstream areas.

The candidate will study organismal responses to environmental changes introduced by different operational use of hydropower reservoirs, on both individual and species level. Through a combination of empirical work and building predictive models of species responses to different scenarios for reservoir operations, the candidate will identify sensitivity of different species and suggest suitable measures for reducing trade-offs.

The candidate will contribute with new knowledge needed to make the best possible balance in trade-offs between solutions to the climate and nature crisis and identify mitigating measures.

The PhD position is funded by NTNU. The post holder will work closely with Dr. Irja Ida Ratikainen at CBD (NTNU), Dr. Ingeborg Palm Helland at NINA (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research) and Professor Anders Finstad at the NTNU University Museum. They will work within a friendly group of PhD and postdoctoral researchers at CBD, ensuring good peer support. The candidate will also be in close contact and collaboration with PhD-candidates from other departments at NTNU through the SusHydro project.

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.

Duties of the position

  • Formulate detailed research questions together with supervisors and collaborators
  • Collect and collate relevant data, and analyse with relevant tools
  • Build models of invertebrate tolerance to environmental conditions
  • Produce a high quality PhD thesis, comprising manuscripts written for publication in scientific journals
  • Disseminate results in scientific literature, general public and to relevant stakeholders
  • Dedication to interdisciplinary research through the SusHydro project
  • Fulfil NTNU’s course credit requirements for the award of a doctoral degree

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in ecology, evolution or biomathematics
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level.
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program
  • You must have strong quantitative skills
  • Good skills in R or equivalent programming language
  • Excellent written and oral English language skills

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants  and Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant  

Preferred selection criteria

  • Working experience and knowledge of relevant ecosystems is an advantage and specializations in freshwater ecology is particularly relevant
  • Experience with optimality modelling in ecology, evolution or behaviour is an advantage
  • Experience in experimental design and advanced statistical modelling is an advantage
  • Good written and oral Norwegian, or other Scandinavian, language skills

Personal characteristics

  • Collaborative and enthusiastic for interdisciplinary research
  • Self-motivated
  • Organised
  • Communicative

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 491 200 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years (with the possibility of an extension allowing for teaching duties).

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in biology, within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above. 

The application must include: 

  • Application letter describing your motivation and fit to the position
  • CV, certificates and diplomas
  • transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted.
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position.
  • Name and contact information of three referees
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here . If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

General information

Working at NTNU

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. 

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

In accordance with The Public Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Irja Ida Ratikainen, telephone 47344606, email . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Liv-Mari Granum, e-mail:

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI) .

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. 

Application deadline: 14.01.2022

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life

Department of Biology We work with global challenges in natural diversity, climate, the environment, health and nutrition. Our expertise in biological processes at all levels – from molecules to ecosystems – contributes

to a sustainable society. The Department educate graduates for a wide range of careers in public administration, business and academia. The Department of Biology  is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences .

Deadline 14th January 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service

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