New postdoctoral position in ecological modelling


Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA, Oslo) and Akvaplan-niva (APN, Tromsø), Norway

A Postdoc position for 24 months is available at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research connected to the research project EISA “Ecology and management of the invasive snow crab: Predicting expansion, impacts and sustainability in the Arctic under climate change” funded by the Norwegian Research Council under the MARINFORSK programme (2019-2022).

The position is available from 1st January 2020, for 24 months. The successful candidate will be employed by NIVA (head office in Oslo), and will join the Marine Biology department, but the postdoc will be based at the offices of Akvaplan-niva in Tromsø, where the modellers in the project are based.

Only twenty-two years after it appeared in the eastern Barents Sea, the snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) has rapidly spread and, in 2017, this invasive species was recorded off Svalbard. Because of its dual nature as an invasive species and potential exploitable resource, the snow crab’s expansion in the Barents Sea has important ecological, economic and political implications, both nationally and internationally. EISA will use state-of-the-art methods (including species distribution and ecosystem modelling, evolutionary genetics and machine learning) to provide empirical and modelling data on the snow crab’s dynamics in the Barents Sea, identify how it changes the structure and function of the benthic community, and predict broader impacts in the framework of climate change. EISA will answer 3 main questions addressed under 4 research work packages:

1) How does the snow crab affect the transfer of matter and energy to high trophic levels, and what are the predicted impacts on the ecosystem (WP1 & 3)?
2) Where does the snow crab come from and what do they eat as they expand (WP2)?
3) How will the tradeoffs between ecology and socio-economics drive the development of sustainable management measures in the Barents Sea (WP4)?

The postdoc will work in an international marine research team focusing on the modelling and prediction of the distribution and impact of the snow crab in the Barents Sea ecosystem. The postdoc is expected to:
1. Actively engage with the partners in all workpackages of the project, to ensure that all data necessary for the modelling activities are collected and processed accordingly.
2. Work closely with the ecological modellers in the project (Uni. Tromsø, Akvaplan-niva, ICM-CSIC).
3. Develop his/her own independent research within the goals of EISA.
4. Write at least 2 first-author papers per year and present the results in at least 1 international conference.
5. Assist the project coordinator with overall coordination tasks, including the maintenance of the project website, data management, annual meetings and communication.
6. Conduct regular short stays in NIVA’s main office in Oslo as well as working visits to ICM-CSIC in Barcelona, Spain.
7. Participate in the EISA cruise to the Barents Sea in summer 2019, if he/she is available.

We are seeking a candidate with the following professional qualifications:
• PhD and research experience in marine ecology;
• Ecological modeling expertise using ECOPATH with ECOSIM and network analyses;
• Expertise using Species Distribution modelling approaches;
• Knowledge or interest in machine-learning analyses and methods;
• Expertise in working and managing large data sets from different sources;
• Proven expertise in writing scientific publications on a high international level;
• Capacity to lead independent research;
• Excellent English communication skills, both verbally and in writing.
• Background in introduced species or ecosystem approach to fisheries management would be considered advantageous.

We are seeking an enthusiastic, goal-oriented candidate with good communication skills, who can demonstrate ability to work in a broad interdisciplinary and international research group and project. You should be able to work in a team of researchers with different backgrounds, but also to propose and develop independent research within the project’s framework.


Challenging tasks at the leading national water research institute with a comprehensive international network of contacts. • Office and lab space at Akvaplan-niva in Tromsø, where the postdoc will benefit from the close proximity to the modelling experts, and Barents Sea expertise. • Stimulating work environment with capable and dedicated employees. • A head office at CIENS (The Oslo Centre for Interdisciplinary Environmental and Social Research) centrally located near the University of Oslo. • Competitive conditions and salaries, pension plans and insurance benefits.



• Application deadline: 30/04/2019
• Additional information about the EISA project can be sent upon request.


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