Doctoral Student in Ecology

University of Jyväskylä


Doctoral Student in Ecology

The University of Jyväskylä (JYU) is a human-centered environment of 2,500 experts and 14,500 students. Our goal is to create wisdom and wellbeing for all. JYU’snaturally beautiful campus is located in the heart of the city of Jyväskylä. JYU is the third largest employer in Central Finland.

The Department of Biological and Environmental Science is currently seeking to recruit staff to the position of 

Doctoral Student in Ecology (Fitness effects and genomic consequences of exposure to environmental radionuclides), starting 1 February, 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter, contract length maximum of four years.

Mappes’ and Watts’ groups study evolutionary ecology and genomics in wild animal populations, with a current emphasis on understanding the impacts of anthropogenic activities such as contamination and/or habitat management.

We are seeking a highly motivated person to participate on a project that aims to quantify the evolutionary consequences of chronic exposure to environmental radionuclides. The focus of this project are bank voles Myodes glareolusinhabiting sites within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, Ukraine. The goal of the project is to use experimental methods to quantify the fitness costs of inhabiting an area with elevated levels of ionizing radiation. For example, the candidate will use field experiments to identify important changes in genome (e.g. gene expression and copy number changes), life history and microbiota community associated with chronic exposure to radionuclide contamination, with a view to identifying potential mechanisms of adaptation.

The successful candidate will join an international team of researchers at the at the Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä. The project provides diverse training and experience of experimental field ecology, and molecular and genomics methods and bioinformatics.

Candidate will have completed a Masters degree in a relevant biological discipline. S/he is expected to have excellent written and oral communication skills and be able to complete fieldwork in demanding conditions. The candidate will have a strong interest in evolutionary biology and/or genomics. Experience with molecular biology methods and bioinformatics skills (e.g. data analysis using using R and/or UNIX environments), and/or field work in small mammals/birds, is an advantage.

More information about bank voles inhabiting the Chernobyl exclusion zone can be found at:

  • Kesäniemi et al. (2019) Scientific Reports,9, 850.
  • Lavrinienko et al. (2018) ISME J12, 2801–2806.
  • Mappes et al. (2019) Ecosphere,10, e02667. 

The duties, qualification requirements and language skills of doctoral student are stipulated by the University of Jyväskylä Regulations and language skills guidelines. The selected person is required to have a command of  English language.

Doctoral Student must have a Master’s degree and permission for post-graduate studies in the University of Jyväskylä.  If the applicant does not have permission for post-graduate studies in the University of Jyväskylä, it must be applied with a separate application procedure from the Faculty of Mathematics and Science.

The initial salary of a doctoral student is typically around 2200 € / month.

A trial period of six months will be used when the position is first filled.

For further details, please contact: Tapio Mappes ( or Phillip Watts (

To find useful information about the University of Jyväskylä, the City of Jyväskylä and living in Finland, see the University's International Staff Guide.

Please attach the following documents to the online application form:

  1. Curriculum vitae (CV), composed according to good scientific practice and considering, when possible, the template for a researcher’s curriculum vitae by the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity. A list of two referees and their contact information must also be included in the CV.
  2. Short application / motivation letter, including research interests.
  3. Relevant certificates / diplomas

Please submit your application at the latest by 24 January 2020 11:45pm (GMT +2) using the online application form.

In your application, please refer to


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