Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Ancient DNA and Evolutionary Genomics University of Oslo, Department of Biosciences Norway

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest rated institution of research and education with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. Its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally esteemed research communities make UiO an important contributor to society.


Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) is a Centre of Excellence (CoE) based at the Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo. CEES combines a broad spectrum of disciplines (population biology, genomics, statistics, mathematical modelling) to foster the concept of ecology as a driving force of evolution via selective processes, with a corresponding influence of evolutionary changes on ecology. CEES has over 160 members (Professors (20), postdocs/researchers (45), PhDs (25), Master’s students (25) and technical and administrative staff) and many guest researchers. The members represent 30 nationalities and constitute a vibrant and creative research environment. CEES coordinate several international networks. The budget = 150 million NOK (about 50 externally funded research projects). CEES is chaired by Professor Nils Chr.Stenseth.


Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Ancient DNA and Evolutionary Genomics


A two-year position as a postdoctoral research fellow in the field of ancient DNA (aDNA) and evolutionary genomics is available at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biosciences. 

The Postdoctoral fellow will be part of a multi-disciplinary, international team led by Dr Bastiaan Star, working on the project Catching the Past: Discovering the legacy of historic Atlantic cod exploitation using ancient DNA funded by the Research Council of Norway. The position is affiliated with CEES, a former national centre of excellence (CoE). Expected start date is April 2018.


No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Oslo.


Project description


Humans have used the natural resources of the oceans for thousands of years. The main aim of this project is to investigate if the intensive, long-term exploitation of Atlantic cod has affected its pan-European population demography or has led to evolutionary change. By extracting DNA from ancient fish remains (up to 10,000 years old), we compare the genome-wide data of specimens that predate extensive human influence to extensive modern reference databases comprising hundreds of individuals. In addition, we aim to reconstruct the early origin of long-distance fishing trade by analysing material from different types of archaeological sites (representing centres of export and import). By identifying the biological source population of bones from a large number of import sites, we will investigate the extent and range of early Viking Age and medieval fish trade (see for instance Knowledge of the chronology of such long-distance trade yields fundamental insights into historic exploitation patterns.


In this project, we have access to unique biological material from different countries that will be analysed using high-throughput, whole-genome sequencing approaches. The successful applicant will join a multi-disciplinary, international team that brings together experts from the fields of biology, archaeology and zooarchaeology. The research fellow’s main task will be the comparative genomic analyses of hundreds of individually sequenced ancient genomes. These data will be interpreted in close dialog with project partners and archaeological sample providers. The ideal candidate will make a major contribution to the planned research, but may also develop her/his own complementary lines of research that reflect the candidate's own expertise and interests, and that fit within the project's main goals. This project forms a collaboration between the CEES at the University of Oslo, the Institute for Marine Research (IMR), University Museum of Bergen, University of Gothenburg, University of Cambridge and the University of Copenhagen.




Applicants must hold a PhD-degree (or other corresponding education equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree) with a background within population genomics and/or evolutionary genomics. The candidate should be able to document strong skills in the analyses of genome-wide data using phylogenetic or population genetic approaches. Experience with ancient DNA, analytical or experimental, is a distinct advantage. Applicants should have a strong publication record for their career stage.


We seek a highly motivated, enthusiastic person with the ambition to gain insight and publish papers in leading, international journals, with interpersonal skills and the capability to work in close collaboration with others. The candidate will work in close collaboration with the rest of the team as well as our national and international partners (Denmark, Sweden and Great Britain) within this project. Some time will be spent visiting the collaborating partners overseas.


The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition of being a leading research facility. Candidates for these fellowships will be selected in accordance with this, and expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.


The main purpose of post-doctoral research fellowships is to qualify researchers to work in top academic positions within their disciplines.


Please also refer to the regulations pertaining to the conditions of employment for post-doctoral fellowship positions:


A good command of English is required.


We offer:


  • Salary NOK 490 900 – 569 000 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (position code 1352)

  • A professionally stimulating working environment


Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities 


The application must include:

  • Application letter including a statement of interest, briefly summarizing your scientific work and interests, and a personal assessment focusing on how you fit the description of the person we seek
  • A brief (1 A4) project plan for the research to be undertaken
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activities)
  • Copies of educational certificates and transcript of records
  • A complete list of publications and unpublished works, and up to 5 academic work that applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)


The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please n

Formal regulations:


Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.


According to the Norwegian Freedom and Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.


The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results a.o.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.ote that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).


Contact persons:


For further information please contact: Dr. Bastiaan Star

e-mail: or Dr. Sanne Boessenkool, e-mail:


For information regarding the recruitment process, please contact HR Adviser Torunn Standal Guttormsen, phone: +47 22854272, e-mail:

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Physicaloxy


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