PhD Position in Reindeer Evolution Throughout the Pleistocene

Trondheim, Norway
15 Mar 2019
End of advertisement period
10 Apr 2019
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

The NTNU University Museum is seeking a highly qualified, ambitious and motivated candidate for a PhD-position “Hologenomics of Pleistocene reindeer macroevolution”.

The position will focus on the application of a hologenomic approach to Pleistocene mammal natural history collections. In this context, hologenomics describes -omics studies of all the available genetic information within individual specimens, including its entire community of associated microorganisms. The appointment has a duration of 3 years. The position is available from June 1th 2019, thus master students graduating close to this date can apply.

The project is interdisciplinary, and the work of the PhD candidate will be closely associated with the HoloMuseomics research group at the Department of Natural History (NTNU University Museum). This group is part of the Norwegian Centre of Excellence “Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics” (CBD, NTNU), and will be advised by Associate Prof. Michael D. Martin, Prof. Tom Gilbert, and Prof. Bernt-Erik Sæther. The project will be conducted using the NTNU University Museum’s computational resources and specialized ancient DNA laboratory facilities.

Job description

The successful candidate will conduct his/her research on reconstructing genetic records of population size to test hypotheses about the evolution and population dynamics of European reindeer in response to major climatic fluctuations of the Pleistocene. The project will involve work in the field (specimen sampling) as well as in the laboratory (data generation), and computational analysis of the population-level data. In close association with Dr. Brage Bremset Hansen (CBD, NTNU), these data will be combined with fossil morphometric data, as well as environmental and paleo-ecological records already available for the region, to draw insights into the genomic and epigenomic consequences of climate change in European cervids.

The successful candidate will perform sampling, library preparation, and sequencing of a time series of ancient cervids from European natural history collections, as well as modern and ancient samples from across Eurasia.

Qualification requirements

PhD candidate:

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in evolutionary biology, population genetics or closely related fields or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, postdoctor and research assistant

Other qualifications required

  • Excellent written and verbal communication ability in English

Desirable qualifications

It is highly advantageous to have experience in genomic data generation and analysis, specifically NGS laboratory and computational analysis methods related to ancient DNA data, and familiarity with the UNIX command-line. Prior involvement with publication of genetic research is also advantageous.

Personal characteristics

  • Excellent cooperative skills
  • High motivation
  • Ability to deliver
  • Highly goal-oriented

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 449 400 before tax per year. From the salary, 2 % is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years. Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in biology 

As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months.

Appointment takes place on the terms that apply to State employees at any time, and after the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

General information

Working at NTNU

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. Under the Freedom of Information Act (offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.

About the application:

Applicants should include a CV, names of two references and a letter describing how this position fits their career plan, ambitions and interests. Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be evaluated. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution. The master thesis (or a draft if not yet submitted) should also be attached to the application.

The position requires spoken and written fluency in the English language. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries outside Europe are encouraged to document English skills by an approved test. Approved tests are TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).

For further information please contact Michael D. Martin (+47 90151850, e-mail

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters.

Application deadline: 10.04.2019

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Natural History

We conduct research in biogeography, biosystematics, evolutionary biology and ecology with a focus on biodiversity. The Department is responsible for developing and maintaining the Museum’s natural history collections, including the botanical gardens at Ringve in Trondheim and Kongsvoll in the Dovre mountains. The Department of Natural History is one of two departments in the NTNU University Museum

Deadline 10.04.2019
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Jobbnorge ID 167124

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