Researcher Integrating Past and Future Models to Mitigate the Impact of Global Change on Biodiversity University of Gothenburg, Department of Biological and Environmental Science Sweden

Researcher integrating past and future models to mitigate the impact of global change on Biodiversity


Diary id:
PAR 2017/1582
Employment level:
Time limited employment (temporary)
Department of Biological and Environmental Science
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At the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences (BioEnv) we have teaching and research activities that stretch from the alpine ecosystem, through forests, cultivated land and streams, all the way into the marine environment. In these environments we study different levels of biological organisation from genes, individuals and populations, to communities and ecosystems. We work within ecology, evolution, physiology, systematics and combinations of these fields in order to understand the impact of natural and anthropogenic changes of the environment.


The department is placed at three different localities: in Gothenburg Botanical garden, at Medicinarberget in Gothenburg, and at the marine research station -Kristineberg. There is some flexibility for the placement of the position, but ideally the person will sit at the Gothenburg Botanical Garden, with some period of time at the University of Lund, most likely in the second year and upon mutual agreement.

Project description


We are looking for a highly motivated and skilled person to work with statistical approaches, time-calibrated phylogenetic trees, species occurrence data, and remote sensing techniques to develop a general predictive framework for biodiversity responses. Test cases will include Amazonian plants and Swedish butterflies. A better understanding of historical responses to the challenges and opportunities of climate and landscape changes may allow “hindcasting” life’s response to change in the past, and forecasting how it may respond to future change.


This work is funded by the Biodiversity and Ecosystems in a Changing Climate (BECC) program, through the University of Gothenburg and the University of Lund. It will involve close collaboration and research visits between the University of Gothenburg, Lund University, and Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Leiden, the Netherlands). This collaboration will allow the candidate to strengthen specific skills for execution of the project.

Job assignments 

The tasks envisioned will include some or all of the following:

  • Use fossil pollen and genomic data to infer ancestral population sizes through time and develop a historical distribution model

  • Quantify adaptability to climatic niche shifts using phylogenetic comparative methods.

  • Identify generalities with respect to climate change and shifts in population densities, environmental and climatic niche occupancy, and morphological and molecular evolution.

  • Participate and help to organize group meetings and symposia



The applicant must hold a PhD in an area relevant for the tasks at hand (ecology, spatial analysis, molecular phylogenetics, macroevolution, bioinformatics, or related fields). Note that the thesis must be awarded prior to the starting date.

Other required qualifications:

  • Documented capacity to work in groups and independently

  • Advanced skills in R, python or another analytical platform

  • Advanced skills in phylogenetics and phylogenetic comparative methods

  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English

Assessment (other desirable qualifications)

  • Experience with phylogenetic diversity metrics, molecular dating, biogeography, comparative phylogenetic analyses, ancestral trait evolution, and/or next-generation sequencing data

  • Knowledge of Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood methods


The application should preferably be written in English and must include:

  • A cover letter with the applicant’s justification for the application, i.e., that describes how the applicant meets the selection criteria (max. one A4 page)

  • A list of qualifications (CV)

  • Certificate of PhD exam and other relevant education

  • Complete list of publications, including submitted and accepted manuscripts

  • Employments certificates and other documents deemed important by the applicant

  • Contact information for at least two referees that are familiar with the applicant’s qualifications

  • A single pdf including all the documents above for easier evaluation


The top ranked candidates will be selected for an interview, which will be held in English and may be performed by phone /skype.




The employment is a full-time position for 12 months. The physical placement will be decided upon agreement and may be at the University of Gothenburg, the University of Lund, or both.


How to apply


In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.

Closing date 2018-02-28

For further information please contact


Prof. Alexandre Antonelli
Phone: +46 703 989 570




Assist. Prof. Christine D. Bacon
Phone: +46 076 618 5167


Prof. Henrik Aronsson, Head of Department 
Tel. +46 31 786 48 02



Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.


Salary is determined on an individual basis.


Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.

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


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