Associate Professor of Basic and Applied Plant Ecology

University of Copenhagen Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences


Associate Professor in Basic and Applied Plant Ecology

Department of Plant and Environmental Science
Faculty of Science
University of Copenhagen

The Department of Plant and Environmental Science invites applications for an Associate Professor position within the field of Basic and Applied Plant Ecology with start 1 February 2021, or as soon as possible thereafter. The position will be anchored at the Section for Organismal Biology.

Research and teaching at the Department of Plant and Environmental Science (PLEN), University of Copenhagen, focus on plants, animals, soil and microorganisms – from molecules through organisms to populations and anthropogenic ecosystems. The institute hosts state-of-the-art infrastructure, field research facilities, and many opportunities for collaborations within the department. It is our vision to maintain and develop our position as one of the principle centres for plant biology based on excellent basic and applied research.

Plant ecology is a dynamic field, which has developed rapidly in recent years, and the implications of these advances for applied systems are manifest. The application of new developments at the intersection of plant ecology and agriculture offers great potential for the development of more sustainable practices to the benefit of society as well as natural and semi-natural ecosystems.

We are seeking a candidate with a strong background in ecological interactions of importance to sustainable plant production (e.g. plant-plant interactions, plant-animal interactions, or plant-microbe interactions), contributing to the new paradigm of agriculture as a form of applied ecology. The successful candidate will establish a productive research program supported by external funding that will complement and enhance existing strengths of the department and lead future research in basic and applied plant ecology.  


- Ph.D. in basic or applied plant ecology or similar fields, and post-doctoral experience.

- A substantial contribution to research in plant ecology by a track record of publications in relevant international journals, preferably as lead/last author.

- Documented research experience in experimental ecology in agricultural systems or similar fields.

- Track record of high-quality teaching in relevant courses (e.g. basic ecology).

- Commitment to and interest in the continued development of existing courses, and supervision at   the BSc and MSc level.

- Commitment to and interest in taking on administrative duties as required (e.g. research group leader and other departmental services).

- Ability to attract external funding for research.

- Good collaborative skills, and preferably a record of collaborative projects with academic and external stakeholders.

- Ability to communicate research to the general public via outreach activities and popular science articles

- Fluency in English, both spoken and written.

- Commitment to achieve fluency in Danish as soon as possible, preferably within 3 years.

Applicants are required to have university level teaching experience, documented teaching competencies and must be able to explain and reflect upon teaching practice and portfolio. Formal pedagogical training or experience equivalent to the University of Copenhagen teacher training programme for assistant professors is required. The position includes approximately 50% research and 50% teaching.

The main duties of the position include the applicant’s own research and research development, teaching in existing courses in basic ecology and botany, and supervision of students, in addition to associated tasks like grant applications, research management, supervision and training of PhD students, postdocs, and other staff, preparation and participation in examinations, and other tasks requested by the Department.

The candidate is expected to be enthusiastic about working in an interdisciplinary academic environment conducting research and teaching at the highest international level. The position, therefore, requires a highly motivated scientist who is comfortable working in teams, have good interpersonal skills, as well as a collaborative and open mind-set.

Assessment of applicants will primarily consider their level of documented, original scientific production at an international level, including contributions to developments in their field, as well as documented teaching and supervision qualifications. Managerial and outreach qualifications of applicants including ability to attract external funding will also be considered.

The Section for Organismal Biology focuses on basic and applied studies of plants, animals and fungi based on the overall hypothesis that biodiversity and interactions among organisms (plant-plant, plant-herbivore, plant-microbe, or host-parasite) form an underutilized resource in the development towards sustainable food production, ecosystem management, and health. We work with a range of terrestrial organisms and systems (natural and anthropogenic), and we employ a spectrum of methods ranging from classical sampling in the field to advanced, molecular methods to study biological interactions.

Further information on the Department can be found at Inquiries about the position can be made to Head of Department Svend Christensen (+4551489421,, or Head of Section Brian Lund Fredensborg (+4535332676, ).

The University of Copenhagen wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Terms of employment

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff. Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

Commencing annual salary is currently up to 481.751 DKK including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 82.379)

Negotiation for a salary supplement is possible.

The application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Curriculum vitae including information about external funding
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
  • Research plan – description of current and future research plans
  • Description and documentation of teaching experience and qualifications according to the university guidelines
  • Complete publication list
  • Separate reprints of 5 particularly relevant papers

The deadline for applications is 9 August 2020, 23:59 GMT +2.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.

You can read about the recruitment process at

Interviews/trial lectures will be held on 30 November 2020.

Please refer to the following no. in future communication in this case: 211-0247/20-2E.


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Svend Christensen


Application deadline: 09-08-2020
Employment start: 01-02-2021
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences

In your application, please refer to


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