Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

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The department of Ecology and Environmental Science, EMG, Umeå University, is opening a post doc position to study how pathogenic fungi affect marine phytoplankton and the marine carbon cycle. The employment is on full time and will start according to agreement. Closing date for applications is November 15, 2019.

Project description and working tasks
Phytoplankton constitute the base of the marine food web and their composition and productivity are important for the biogeochemical cycle of carbon and for the carrying capacity of the ecosystem. The environmental conditions shaping different food web types are well known, for example, that high nutrient concentrations promote a food web structure stimulating fish and shellfish production and that low nutrient concentrations promote microorganisms.

Many of the organisms in the marine food web and their adaptations are well described; however, one organism group we do not know very much about is pathogenic fungi. It is possible that pathogenic fungi are of large ecological and evolutionary importance, for example by influencing the channeling of energy up the food web and selectively being promoted by climate warming. The project will give a unique possibility to participate in a quickly emerging research field.

In this project, we will focus on chytrids, which is a fungal group described as phytoplankton pathogens. We will study the spatial and temporal variation of chytrids in the Baltic Sea, with the aim to link them to specific environmental conditions and specific phytoplankton species. The field study will be followed up by an infection experiment to elucidate how chytrids affect the energy channeling in the food web and how they are affected by increased temperature. We will use an advanced technique (nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry, nanoSIMS), to analyze microbial interactions.

The candidate should have a PhD degree in aquatic microbial ecology or similar. To be eligible for this position, you should have completed your doctoral degree maximum three (3) years before the end of the application period. Good ability to co-operate as well as to work independently and take initiative are required. Good skills in written and spoken English are required.

We seek a highly motivated candidate with knowledge in fungal ecology and systematics. It is a merit to have documented experiences in bioinformatics, genomics or NGS data analysis.

Experience with large-scale sequence analysis is a merit, including familiarity with phylogenetic analyses, statistics and programming (e.g. Linux, R, Python). Experience in various modelling approaches is also a merit.

The full application should include:

  • A cover letter describing why you are interested in the project and your suitability (max. two pages).
  • A CV, including a list of your publications
  • Copies of your doctoral thesis and relevant publications (maximum five)
  • Copy of doctoral degree certificate and other relevant degree certificates.
  • Names and contact details (mail and phone) of three reference persons.
  • Any other documents you wish to refer to.

The application must be written in English or Swedish. The application is made through our electronic recruitment system on November 15, 2019 at the latest. Documents sent electronically must be in Word or PDF format.

For more information, contact Professor Agneta Andersson (, Tel: +46 90 7869845).

The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science ( carries out research and postgraduate education in ecology, environmental science and physical geography. The department has about 150 coworkers, about 20 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 2.2.1-1475-19
  • Agneta Andersson, professor, 090-786 98 45
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 09.Oct.2019
Last application date 15.Nov.2019 11:59 PM CET

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