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OPEN POSITIONS Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Genetic Modelling with focus on Evolutionary Biology

The department for Marine Sciences (http://marine.gu.se/english/) is Sweden's most complete academic environment for marine research and education, and it is one of few such institutions in Europe. University of Gothenburg has outstanding marine infrastructure facilities including state-of-the-art equipment for marine research, two large marine research stations and a new 49 m research vessel ready to use in 2018 (http://loven.gu.se/english/). Researchers at our department also have access to the ice-breaker Oden for polar research (http://polar.se/en/). The Department for Marine Sciences, founded 2015, brings together expertise in physical oceanography, marine chemistry, marine biology, marine geology, and marine heritage conservation. Thus the department has excellent opportunities to meet future challenges in marine research and education. Furthermore, the department hosts the Centre for Sea and Society (http://havochsamhalle.gu.se/english/) an arena for all marine and maritime activities at University of Gothenburg. The Gothenburg region is also a national hub for marine governance with the Swedish Marine Institute (http://havsmiljoinstitutet.se/english/), hosted by University of Gothenburg, and the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (https://www.havochvatten.se/en) is located in Gothenburg.

The department of Marine Sciences are located with permanent staff in Gothenburg and at the research stations Kristineberg and Tjärnö on the Swedish west cost north of Gothenburg.

Subject area

Genetic modelling with focus on evolutionary biology

Subject area description

Littorina saxatilis is developing as an important model species for studies of speciation under gene flow. It is highly polymorphic with different ecotypes evolving in parallel in response to divergent selection in different microhabitats. Ecotypes remain linked by contact in hybrid zones. In a multidisciplinary research group in marine evolutionary biology we are currently generating massive sets of genetic and phenotypic data from contact zones in different parts of the species' distribution. These data are aimed to increase our understanding of the genetic mechanisms of local adaptation and evolution of reproductive isolation under gene flow. Comprehensive models are needed against which the empirical data can be contrasted and tested. The models should also be transferable to other empirical systems and/or provide general insight into adaptation and speciation under gene flow.

Job assignments

The candidate will be part of a research groups in marine evolutionary biology active both at Tjärnö Marine Research Station, outside Strömstad, and in Gothenburg. The candidate is also expected to work part-time at the Department of Physics at campus Johanneberg in Gothenburg.

The candidate will be encouraged to develop her/his own strong research profile and conduct multidisciplinary research within the area of genetic modelling of local adaptation and speciation. The candidate is also expected to contribute significantly to ongoing projects in the research group in a way that will make possible new insights and interpretations of the empirical data. The most important projects are:

  • ERC Advanced Grant, project Barriers (The evolution of barriers to gene exchange). This programme focus on understanding how barriers are evolving that prevent gene flow between diverging populations (reproductive barriers) without the presence of physical barriers of separation. Project leader: Roger Butlin.

  • VR project: Evolution of intrinsic barriers under gene flow. This is a new project (starting 2018) that will focus on how genetic incompatibility evolves, with focus on its evolution in the presence of gene flow. Project leader: Kerstin Johannesson.

The candidate will be responsible for developing spatially explicit genetic models that make predictions for genetic divergence and genomic architecture that can be tested using comprehensive sequencing data, and for analysing these models using mathematical techniques as well as state-of-the art computer simulations. Much of the work will be performed in close collaboration with other researchers and with PhD students involved in the research group.

It is expected that the candidate will communicate research results in writing scientific publications, give oral presentations at conferences, and contribute in various dissemination activities. The candidate is also expected to take part in other research-related activities at the department, and within the research group in particular.

The position will also include teaching in computational biology at the Department of Physics corresponding to maximum 15% of the position, and supervision of students and PhD students in physics and biology.

Candidates without university teacher training should undergo courses in teaching and learning in higher education within two years of employment.

It is also expected that the candidate will be able to teach in Swedish within two years of employment. The university offers courses in Swedish.


Qualified for appointment as Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow (forskarassistent) is a person who has been awarded a PhD degree in a subject area relevant for the position, for example in physics, mathematics or theoretical biology, or has achieved equivalent academic qualifications. A candidate with a foreign degree that is judged to be comparable is also eligible. Priority should be given to candidates who have been awarded a PhD, an equivalent foreign degree or achieved equivalent qualifications no more than seven years before the application deadline. Candidates who graduated earlier may also be given primary consideration if there are special reasons. Special reasons are considered to be a leave of absence due to illness or parental leave for example.

An additional requirement is the ability to teach in Swedish or English.


Scientific proficiency will be the primary criteria for the assessment of merits. Pedagogic proficiency will be of secondary importance. Both scientific and pedagogic skills will be carefully assessed.

The scientific proficiency is assessed with a focus on the candidate's capacity and earlier experience of working in a multidisciplinary context, specifically being involved in collaborations with researchers in biology, mathematics and/or physics. The assessment will specifically emphasize documented comprehensive knowledge in mathematical modelling of evolutionary biology, with focus on modelling contact/hybrid zones or ecotype differentiation.

The assessment is based primarily on scientific publications in leading international journals and on participation in international conferences and workshops. Scientific proficiency is also assessed through indicated scientific independence, shown by successful scientific leadership or involvement in scientific collaborations, and design and implementation of research projects. The research plan included in the application is also taken into account in the assessment of scientific skills.

The pedagogical merits are assessed based on well-documented pedagogical experience, including ability of planning and performing teaching and successful supervision of students. The ability to teach and supervise in computer biology will be of particular relevance for the position.

The successful candidate will be chosen based on an overall assessment of proficiency and potential within the subject area, the potential and ability to independently carry out the duties of the position, and the abilities to communicate, cooperate with others and contribute to a positive development of the department.


Type of employment: Fixed-term employment, four years
Extent: 100%
Location: Department of Marine Sciences, Tjärnö or Gothenburg, as agreed
First day of employment: As soon as possible as agreed

Appointment procedure

The selection process will include evaluation by experts from outside the university, interviews, guest lectures and/or research seminars. Personal circumstances, for example parental leave, will be taken into account in the assessment of merits and must be specified in the presentation of credentials and experiences.

For further information about the position

Regarding the position, please contact Per Hall, Head of Department
+46 (0) 31 786 9062 or +46 (0) 766 22 9062 

Regarding the research, please contact professor Kerstin Johannesson (kerstin.johannesson@gu.se) and professor Roger Butlin (r.k.butlin@sheffield.ac.uk).


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg: http://www.gu.se/english/about_the_university/job-opportunities/union-representatives

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, and submit the following documents:

  • Personal letter

  • CV, including a complete list of publications, and record of received research grants (with amounts).

  • Description of scientific expertise, and a motivation for choosing no more than ten scientific publications that you want to refer to.

  • Research plan, with a description of current and planned research as well as other planned activities relevant to this position (maximum three pages).

  • Description of pedagogical expertise, including information about the extent and level of teaching done and evaluations of its quality, and brief pedagogical statement.

  • Description of other merits, for example student administration and cooperation with the local community.

  • Copies of your most relevant publications in full format (maximum of ten publications).

  • Other documents that you wish to be considered.

It is the responsibility of the candidate 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. Any documents that are not available in electronic format should be mailed in two copies to:
Faculty Office for Science
Attn: Marie Emanuelsson
University of Gothenburg
Box 460
S-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden

The application is to be written in English.

Closing date: 2018-01-24


Additional information

Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step and raises many questions about what to expect. Thus, to give you a general idea of what we and Gothenburg have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your accompanying spouse/partner please visit http://www.science.gu.se/english/about/career. For more information about the Faculty of Science please visit http://www.science.gu.se/english/. We can offer relocation services.


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.


The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 38 000 students and 6 000 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.

Page Manager: rekrytering@gu.se|Last update: 2/23/2017

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