Postdoctoral researcher in evolutionary ecology

Uppsala University


Postdoctoral researcher in evolutionary ecology

Published: 2019-10-14


Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education and to interact constructively with society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has 44.000 students, 7.100 employees and a turnover of SEK 7 billion.



A position as a postdoctoral researcher in evolutionary ecology is available at the Department of Ecology and Genetics, in the program of Animal Ecology.

The Department of Ecology and Genetics (IEG) is an international environment with staff and students from all over the world. Our research spans from evolutionary ecology and genetics to studies of ecosystems. For more information, see The IEG is situated within the Evolutionary Biology Centre at Uppsala University, which is one of the world's leading research environments in evolutionary biology. The working atmosphere is truly international with a regular recruitment of PhD students and post-docs from abroad. The EBC is part of Uppsala University - the oldest university in Scandinavia - which has approximately 40.000 students and has been top ranked among European Universities in the subject of biology (CHE European ranking). Our labs are part of the Department of Ecology and Genetics (IEG) ( that excels in many aspects of ecology, genetics and evolution and offers an inspiring and vibrant international atmosphere.  The city of Uppsala is a lively college town, less than an hour's train ride away from Stockholm (and even closer to Arlanda international airport) with beautiful and easy accessible surroundings.

Project description:

The evolution of adaptive developmental plasticity and niche width

We are interested in understanding the evolution of niche width and adaptive phenotypic plasticity in gene expression with specific application to insect host use and colonization. Potential projects include (but are not limited to):

(i) Species vary widely in their use of resources. When it comes to host use, some species are specialists, narrowly exploiting only but a few very similar hosts, and some are generalists and able to use a wide repertoire of hosts, often differing in both chemistry and the microecological niche they provide. What drives and limits such adaptation? The aim is to get a better understanding of the possibilities and limitations to host use and niche evolution by comparing phenotypic plasticity in gene expression among related species of bruchid beetles that differ in their host plant repertoire (i.e. “comparative genomics”).

(ii) Some pest species have rapidly been able to colonize new hosts, with sometimes knock-on effects in the ecosystem and substantial economic costs for agriculture. What is the molecular genetic basis for such rapid adaptation? Another aim of the project is to study rapid genetic changes and divergence in phenotypic plasticity in gene expression in response to host use in the seed beetle Acanthoscelides obtectus. This will be done by comparing plasticity in ancestral populations and long term experimental evolution lines specialized to a novel host.

(iii) What is the functional molecular genetic basis of adaptive changes in digestive enzymes?

The detailed and final research plan will be developed in collaboration with the successful candidate and tailored to match her/his individual interests and strengths.

Qualifications required: The successful candidate must have a PhD, or an exam which is judged comparable to a PhD, in evolutionary ecology or molecular biology/genetics. In the former case, a documented experience using molecular tools and analyses of genomic data is requested. In the latter case, a serious and documented interest in ecology and/or evolutionary biology is requested. Candidates must be able to express themselves with high proficiency in spoken as well as written English. When recruiting, we attach particular importance to personal qualities such as the candidates ability to collaborate.

To be eligible the candidate must have a PhD degree, or a foreign degree equivalent to this, completed less than three years before the application deadline. The three year period can be extended due to circumstances such as sick leave, parental leave, duties in labour unions, etc.

Qualifications desired: Desirable qualifications that improve or enrich the function, but are not a must: Documented expertise in acquiring, managing and analysing gene expression data. Experience of tackling problems relating to the evolution of niche width and phenotypic plasticity. Previously demonstrated ability to publish scientific studies.

Position: Temporary full-time position for 24 months, according to central collective agreement.

Salary: Individual salary.

Starting date: 2020-01-15 or as otherwise agreed.

Instructions for the application: The application should include 1) a letter of intent describing yourself, your research interests and motivation of why you want to work as a postdoctoral researcher/fellow and why you are suitable for the position, 2) a CV including your publication list, 3) a short description of your education, 4) a copy of your PhD degree, your grades and a copy of your thesis, 5) name and contact information to at least two reference persons (e-mail address and phone no.). The application should be written in English.

Uppsala University aims for gender balance and diversity in all activities in order to achieve a higher quality at all levels of the organization. We therefore welcome applicants of any gender and with different birth background, functionality and life experience.

For further information about the position please contact: Dr. David Berger (, +46 18 471 26 34) or Prof. Göran Arnqvist (, +46 18 471 26 45).

You are welcome to submit your application no later than 2019-11-08. UFV-PA 2019/3396.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? If so, you will find a lot of information about working and living in Sweden at You are also welcome to contact International Faculty and Staff Services at



Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services. Applications must be submitted as described in this advertisement.


Placement: Department of Ecology and Genetics

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100%

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: Saco-rådet
Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2019/3396

Last application date: 2019-11-08

In your application, please refer to


amsterdam uni

antwerp uni

cambridge uni

florida uni

hamburg uni

harvard uni

hiroshima uni

oslo uni

purdue uni

ryerson uni

shanghai jiao tong uni

stockholm uni