Postdoc in the Analysis of Species Community Change
The University of Helsinki, founded in 1640, is one of the world’s leading universities for multidisciplinary research. The university has an international academic community of 40,000 students and staff members. The University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development. The International Staff Services office assists employees from abroad with their transition to work and life in Finland.
The Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences situated at the Viikki science park is the largest research and teaching unit in biosciences in Finland. The Research Centre for Ecological Change within the Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme invites applications for a postdoctoral researcher in the analysis of species community change for a fixed term of two years. There will be a trial period of six months in the beginning.
The postdoc position is part of the Research Centre for Ecological Change (REC) and is funded by the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation. PIs of the Centre are prof. Anna-Liisa Laine, prof. Otso Ovaskainen, prof. Tomas Roslin, assoc. prof. Jarno Vanhatalo and assoc. prof. Marjo Saastamoinen. The starting date is March 1, 2021, but can be negotiated.
The overreaching aim of REC is to generate a coordinated analysis of long-term ecological data to understand impacts of global change. To unravel how populations and interactions between species in nature are responding to ongoing environmental change, the Centre takes advantage of the unique longterm datasets collected in Finland. The Centre also develops state-of-the-art methodology for analyzing long-term spatially structured data sets within a joint species distribution modeling framework. For more information on the Centre, please visit https://www2.helsinki.fi/en/researchgroups/research-centre-forecological-change.
We are now seeking a post doc to analyze how recent environmental change is reflected in the emergence of novel species communities. This work focuses on characterizing not only rates of change at the community level, but at the rate with which new types of communities are being formed. As environmental conditions are pushed beyond their historical range of variation, species are assembling in combinations never seen before. While such novelty has continuously emerged at different rates throughout the history of our planet, its current rate of emergence may be accelerating due to human activities, may differ among organism groups, and may depend on regional and taxon-specific baseline conditions – with unknown consequences for ecosystem functioning. Thus, the successful candidate will use Finnish time series on different organism groups to establish the rates with which ecological novelty is emerging, to compare rates among organisms, and to probe for drivers of novelty in both aquatic and terrestrial communities. Thus, the postdoctoral researcher will work at the interface of environmental monitoring, community ecology and applied statistics.
The successful applicant should have completed a PhD in ecology or a related field, and possess strong analytical and statistical skills. We seek candidates with excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to conceive, execute and complete research projects, and to think independently and creatively. The post docs will work as a part of a team at the Centre but also with researchers from other environmental institutes. Excellent social skills are required for these extensive collaborations.
The salary of the successful candidate will be based on level 5–6 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. The starting salary will be ca. 3300–3800 euros/month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience.
The application should include the following documents as a single pdf file: • motivational letter outlining why you are the right person for this task (max 1 page)
• CV (max 2 pages)
• list of publications
Include also contact information of two persons who are willing to provide a reference letter by separate request.
Please submit your application using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the link Apply for the position. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to leave their application by signing into https://msap.helsinki.fi
The deadline for submitting the application is 16 January 2022. For more information, contact by email: Tomas Roslin (tomas.roslin(at)helsinki.fi), Anna-Liisa Laine (anna-liisa.laine(at)helsinki.fi), Marjo Saastamoinen (marjo.saastamoinen(at)helsinki.fi), Otso Ovaskainen (otso.ovaskainen(at)helsinki.fi), Jarno Vanhatalo (jarno.vanhatalo(at)helsinki.fi),
If you need support with the recruitment system, please contact HR Coordinator Sari Aaltonen (sari.aaltonen(at)helsinki.fi).
The University of Helsinki welcomes applicants from a variety of genders, linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and minorities.