PhD Candidate Modelling Impacts from Marine Invasive Species

Trondheim, Norway
31 Aug 2020
End of advertisement period
09 Oct 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD candidate in the Industrial Ecology Programme at the Department of Energy and Process Engineering.

The appointment has a duration of 3 years. The appointment is financed by the European Research Council.

The position is part of the ERC starting grant project ATLANTIS, which is about quantifying human impacts on marine ecosystems within the framework of life cycle assessment (LCA). For more information, check: or the project website on

The topic of this PhD project is the development of models to quantify the impact of marine invasive species on the marine ecosystem. The aim is to develop a global, spatially-differentiated life cycle impact assessment model for species losses from invasion, with main focus on impacts from ballast water and hull fouling. Interaction with an ongoing PhD project on marine plastics is possible, in order to consider the impacts from marine invasive species rafting on plastic particles.

This is pioneering research, as currently no model on marine invasive species impacts exists within LCIA and developing models to quantify these impacts represents therefore cutting-edge research.

Interdisciplinary collaboration with oceanographers, and marine biologists are planned.

The Industrial Ecology Programme (IndEcol) is a well-established interdisciplinary group in the field of environmental sustainability analysis. Researchers at IndEcol participate in international expert groups, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the International Resource Panel (IRP), the Life Cycle Imitative hosted by UN Environment, as well as international collaborative projects.

The Head of Department is Professor Terese Løvås. The position’s supervisor is Professor Francesca Verones, the co-supervisor is Associate Professor Johan Berg Pettersen.

Duties of the position

  • Designing and setting up models for quantifying the fate and effect of marine invasive species
  • Deriving characterization factors for use in life cycle assessment
  • Application of the model in case studies
  • Dissemination of results in scholarly journals and at international conferences

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is that you have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in marine biology, ecology, industrial ecology, environmental sciences or environmental engineering or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable 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, post doctor and research assistant.

  • Proven analytical and computational capabilities, in courses and or/thesis deliverables
  • Proven written and oral English communication skills
  • Experience in geographical information systems (e.g., ArcGIS, QGIS)

Preferred selection criteria

  • Experience in use of programming for environmental data is an advantage (e.g., Matlab, R, Python)
  • Completed courses in life cycle assessments is an advantage
  • Study background or courses in marine ecology/biology is an advantage
  • Fluency of Norwegian or a Nordic language is a plus

Personal characteristics

  • Self-motivated, enthusiastic, and dedicated
  • Motivated to solve environmental problems and advance sustainability
  • Ambitious and goal-oriented
  • Team player
  • Excellent communication skills

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. 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 that you are admitted to the PhD programme in [subject area] (Link to website, if applicable) within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

The position is subject to external funding.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Publications and other scientific work (e.g. Master`s thesis/ draft of Master`s thesis) must accompany the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available by the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above. 

The application must include (Departments to choose from the following):

  • CV, certificates and diplomas
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment
  • Name and address of three referees

Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability.

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

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. 

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.\

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Francesca Verones, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Megan Norris, e-mail:

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Applicants with European Master`s qualifications from outside Norway are required to include a Diploma Supplement. Applicants with Masters` qualifications from China are required to include confirmation of Master`s Diplomas from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number IV-173/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 09.10.2020

Further information

This position is funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 ATLANTIS project: Whales, waste and sea walnuts: incorporating human impacts on the marine ecosystem within life cycle impact assessment. Grant agreement ID: 850717

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 Energy and Process Engineering

We conduct research and teaching covering the entire energy chain, from resources to the end-user. We look at how energy is produced and used by humans and machines in a sustainable way with regard to health, climate change and the resource base. The Department of Energy and Process Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 9th October 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Fixed Term
Jobbnorge ID 191839