Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

Umeå University is dedicated to providing creative environments for learning and work. We offer a wide variety of courses and programmes, world leading research, and excellent innovation and collaboration opportunities. More than 4 100 employees and 34 000 students have already chosen Umeå University. We welcome your application!

We seek a postdoctor interested in catchment biogeochemistry, land-water interactions, or stream ecosystem ecology in tundra landscapes. The employment is on fulltime and is expected to start March 1, 2020 or according to agreement. Last day of application is November 15, 2019.

Project description and working tasks
In tundra ecosystems, herbivory plays a major role in accelerating nutrient turnover in soils and subsequent availability to plants. Yet, despite evidence that grazing increases the ‘openness’ of the tundra nutrient cycles and alters the relative importance of nitrogen and phosphorus as limiting nutrients, such effects have not been quantified in terms of hydrologic losses and aquatic ecosystem responses. This project will take advantage of large-scale reindeer management fences in northern Scandinavia, which separate heavily and lightly grazed landscapes, to test the hypothesis that grazing effects on soil resources are propagated in space to influence aquatic ecosystem functioning through altered supply and stoichiometry of nutrients. We will test this hypothesis through a combination of approaches in soils and small streams, including the use of drone technologies to address grazing effects on land-boundaries. The work will include independent field work in remote places in the Scandinavian tundra, laboratory work in Umeå and Abisko, focusing on nutrient availability in streams and soils. The post-doc will also analyse the data and write scientific papers for peer reviewed scientific journals.

Successful candidates will have a PhD in ecology, biogeochemistry, or an equivalent subject. To be eligible you should have completed your PhD degree a maximum of three years before the end of the application period, unless special circumstances exist. You should have prior experience doing field work, preferably in remote locations, under potentially harsh conditions. Similarly, experience quantifying nutrient export from soils or catchments, or assaying nutrient limitation in aquatic ecosystems are required. You should also hold a driver’s license for cars. Experience with GIS and statistical analyses in R will be viewed as additional merits.

We seek a creative and highly motivated person, with high proficiency in spoken and written English, with a strong work ethic and ability to co-operate.

The full application will include:

  • A personal cover letter including why you are interested in this position and how you can contribute to the research group (max two pages)
  • CV including list of publications
  • Copy of your PhD exam certificate and other relevant certificates
  • Copy of your PhD thesis
  • Names and contact information for three references
  • Other documents you wish to claim

The application should be written in English (preferably) or Swedish. You apply through Umeå Universitys recruitment system Varbi, on November 15, 2019 at the latest.

Any additional questions about the project or application should be directed to Ryan Sponseller (, or Johan Olofsson (

The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science (EMG) carries out research and postgraduate education in ecology, environmental science and physical geography. The department has about 150 employees, about 20 of whom are post-docs. For more information, visit:

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment March 1st, 2020 or according to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-1391-19
  • Ryan Sponseller, universitetslektor, 090-786 65 50
  • Johan Olofsson, universitetslektor, 090- 786 77 04
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 25.Sep.2019
Last application date 15.Nov.2019 11:59 PM CET

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