Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

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We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher in environmental science that will work with direct and indirect effects of metal contamination within the project “Cross-ecosystem impacts of metal-contaminated lakes: the importance of aquatic subsidies” funded by the Swedish Research Council, VR. The deadline for applications is March 8, 2019 and the position is expected to start in May 2019 or according to agreement.

Project description and working tasks
Terrestrial systems have traditionally been regarded as sources of nutrients, organic matter, and contaminants, whereas aquatic systems have been regarded as sinks. However, during the last decade there has been a growing interest in aquatic systems as sources of nutrients and contaminants, via flying adult aquatic insects, and an emerging theme is how environmental stressors may propagate across the aquatic-terrestrial boundary. Although the magnitude of aquatic-to-terrestrial transfers might be smaller than the reciprocal transfers, they are of high nutritional quality (e.g. rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, PUFAs) and therefore important for terrestrial consumers. In addition to serving as a nutritional (i.e. prey) subsidy, adult aquatic insects may transfer aquatic-derived contaminants when they emerge. The water-to-land flux of contaminants will depend on the body burden of contaminants as well as emergence success, where the latter can be reduced through direct toxicity of the contaminant. As such, terrestrial predators may be impacted directly via transfer of contaminants, but potentially also by altered aquatic prey quality and quantity.

The objectives of this project are to understand the roles of aquatic subsidies in metal contaminated environments. You will lead efforts to 1) explore the cross-ecosystem effects of aquatic subsidies, 2) understand the role of metal contamination for aquatic insect emergence success, and 3) assess the impact of variation in prey quality (i.e. concentration of PUFAs) and metal exposure on terrestrial consumers (birds). This project will have a strong field component, in combination with laboratory work.

The position is full time for two years and placed on Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University.

Successful candidates should have a PhD in ecology, limnology, ecotoxicology, or a related field. To be eligible for this position, you should have completed your doctoral degree a maximum of three (3) years before the end of the application period, unless special circumstances exist. You should have prior experience in field work and hold a valid driver’s license. 

We seek a creative and highly motivated person with a strong work ethic and good oral and written communication skills in English. You should be able to work both independently and in collaboration with others. Prior experience with cross-ecosystem studies, insect identification, handling of birds, laboratory practice and analyses (e.g. metals, fatty acids), and experience with R will all be viewed as merits.

A full application should include:

  • A personal cover letter including a description over why you are interested in this position and how you can contribute to the research group (max two pages).
  • CV including list of publications.
  • A copy of your PhD thesis and relevant publications (max five).
  • A copy of doctoral degree certificate and other relevant degree certificates.
  • Names and contact details of three references.
  • Other documents you wish to claim.

The application must be written in English or Swedish. The application is made through our electronic recruitment system. Documents sent electronically must be in Word or PDF format. The closing date is March 8, 2019.

Any additional questions about the project or application should be directed to Associate Professor Åsa Berglund, Umeå University (

The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science carries out research and postgraduate education in ecology, environmental science and physical geography. The department has about 130 employees, about 15 of whom are post-docs.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-118-19
  • Åsa Berglund, universitetslektor, 090-7869559
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 23.Jan.2019
Last application date 08.Mar.2019 11:59 PM CET

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