Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Antarctic marine predator evolutionary
genomics (2 years)

The Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) in Tromsø, Norway invites
applications for a postdoctoral research fellow position in Southern
Ocean molecular ecology, which includes studies of the molecular ecology
of two krill-predators in the Southern Ocean, Antarctic fur seals and
macaroni penguins. The position is supported by the Norwegian Antarctic
Research Expedition (NARE) project entitled “Population structure and
contemporary gene flow in two sympatrically-breeding Southern Ocean
predators with contrasting demographics”.

The work will be conducted in our Research Department, Section of
Biodiversity, in collaboration with the national Antarctic programs
of Australia, Chile, France, South Africa, the United Kingdom and
Germany. The position of postdoctoral research fellow is a fixed-term
position for a period of 2 years with a possible extension, depending
on funding.

Work Content

The aims of the project are three-fold: 1) to provide a
comprehensive description of contemporary, circumpolar gene flow of
two sympatrically-breeding species, used by the Commission for the
Conservation of Antarctic Living Marine Resources (CCAMLR), to monitor the
ecological state of the Southern Ocean, 2) to characterise the demographic
histories of each species in terms of bottlenecks, founder effects and
expansion events and 3) to characterise patterns of selective pressure
in each species across regional scales using genome scans.

The work will require nuclear and mitochondrial DNA to be extracted
and prepared from blood and other tissue samples taken from each
species (already collected), at each of nine sub-Antarctic island
locations. Analyses to achieve the project aims will then require the
appropriate application of markers that are either selectively neutral
(e.g. species-specific microsatellites and mtDNA) or under active
selection (ddRAD-TAG sequenced Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) and
subsequent analyses using bioinformatic tools.


The candidate must hold a PhD in molecular ecology or a closely related
field. A documented completed degree is a prerequisite for employment.

We seek candidates with expertise in laboratory work (DNA
extraction, preparation, PCR, sequencing) and numerical analytical
techniques. Experience with High Throughput Sequencing technology is
required, and candidates that have worked with restriction site associated
DNA tags (RAD-TAG) will be preferred. A proven ability to synthesise
molecular genetic data into an ecological and environmental context is
considered an asset. Publication of results is of great importance and
recent articles in highly rated peer-reviewed scientific journals must
demonstrate such ability.

The candidate must have experience with more than one of the following
tools: ABC (Approximate Bayesian Computing), BAYESASS, BEAST,
bioinformatics, MATLAB, MIGRATE, STRUCTURE, and R.

We seek a candidate with good collaboration skills, but who also can
conduct independent research. Good written and spoken communication
skills in English are required.


The work place is Tromsø, Norway. The salary will be commensurate with
the qualifications of the successful candidate, under the Norwegian
state salary code 1352, scale 57-64 (currently NOK 486 100 – 556 700
per year). The position is open immediately.

The main objective of the appointment as a postdoctoral research fellow is
to qualify for work in senior academic positions. No one may be appointed
to more than one fixed-term period as a postdoctoral research fellow
at the same institution. The maximum appointment-period for position as
postdoctoral research fellow is four years.

The project will involve a placement with Dr Joe Hoffman at the University
of Bielfeld (Germany) and close collaboration with Dr Julianna Vianna
of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

The Norwegian State Administration strives to mirror the diversity of its
population and thereby achieve a balanced mix of age, gender and ethnic
backgrounds among its employees. All qualified candidates with different
backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The Norwegian Polar Institute is
an IW-enterprise and adjustments will be made to the workplace regarding
health issues, if necessary.

Tromsø is a city of 70.000 residents situated in northern Norway at
nearly 70°N. Tromsø is known as a good place to experience the midnight
sun, polar night, varied outdoor activities and a lively cultural and
entertainment environment. It is also a major, and expanding, center
for research, with numerous government and private research institutions
and a major university. The NPI’s Research Department is very diverse,
both in scientific interests and in nationalities.

Further inquiries about the position may be directed to Research Scientist
Dr. Andrew Lowther,, tel. +358 407 561 971, Dr. Joe
Hoffman (University of Bielfeld),, tel. +49 521
106 2711, Research Scientist Dr. Christian Lydersen,,
tel. +47 77 75 05 23, or Section Leader Dr. Kit Kovacs,,
tel. +47 77 75 05 26.

The application deadline is 25th October 2016. The application should
include details of your relevant qualifications and experience, CV, list
of publications, copies of your transcripts and names of at least two
references. Please, submit a complete application, including necessary
documents/attachments, electronically Please,
do not include copies of articles or other work in the application,
but note that it may be requested later in the process.

Dr Andrew Lowther Southern Ocean top predator ecologist Norwegian Polar
Institute Tromsø

e: t: +47 77 75 05 42

Andrew Lowther <>