Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest higher education institutions with over 37,000 students and about 4,700 employees. The University offers a diversity of high-quality education and world-leading research in several fields. Notably, the groundbreaking discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was made here. At Umeå University, everything is close. Our cohesive campuses make it easy to meet, work together and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture.

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The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science are announcing a postdoctoral position in pollination ecology to join research focused on communities of pollinators, plants and microbes and their functioning. The employment is on fulltime for two years. The deadline for applications is May 13th, 2024 and the position is expected to start in September 2024, or according to agreement. Welcome with your application!

Research description
Pollination is a key ecosystem service upkeeping plant diversity as well as crops of cultivated plants. How the organisms interact and what impacts the interactions of pollination systems, is yet a study field filled with knowledge gaps.

The research aims to fill in the gaps by assessing how the ecological communities of pollinators, plants and microbes are structured and how they function, in regard to plant usage and microbe sharing, in different environments, and in the presence and in the absence of managed pollinators. We use cutting-edge molecular tools, namely DNA metabarcoding and metagenomics to identify the interacting taxa. We study pollination communities primarily in the Boreal zone, but also in the Arctic.

The planned work consists of collecting samples in the field, identifying the target organisms by DNA metabarcoding, analyzing data on pollinator and microbial communities as well as writing research articles to identify how pollinator communities change due to different factors. The selected candidate is expected to take part in designing their project and take responsibility for its implementation from data collection to presentation of results in both scientific journals and conferences. Opportunities for professional development, as an example in project management, leadership, mentoring, supervision, teaching and grant writing, are available and encouraged. The position offers a possibility to contribute to the design and research questions of the study.

The Postdoc will work with the associate professor Helena Wirta (Umeå University), and also a network of researchers from Finland, Sweden and Canada. This is a two-year position funded by the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University.

To be appointed under the postdoctoral agreement, the postdoctoral fellow is required to have completed a doctoral degree or a foreign degree deemed equivalent to a doctoral degree. This qualification requirements must be fulfilled no later than at the time of the appointment decision.

To be appointed under the postdoctoral agreement, priority should be given to candidates who completed their doctoral degree, according to what is stipulated in the paragraph above, no later than three years prior. If there are special reasons, candidates who completed their doctoral degree prior to that may also be eligible. Special reasons include absence due to illness, parental leave, appointments of trust in trade union organizations, military service, or similar circumstances, as well as clinical practice or other forms of appointment/assignment relevant to the subject area. Postdoctoral fellows who are to teach or supervise must have taken relevant courses in teaching and learning in higher education.

The successful candidate should have a PhD in community ecology, functional ecology, or a closely related field. Previous experience is required in at least one of the following: fieldwork in terrestrial ecosystems, DNA metabarcoding, and advanced statistical methods in community ecology. Excellent written and verbal communication skills, ability to conceive, execute and complete research projects, ability to think independently and creatively as well as ability to work in a team and independently are expected. Experience in working with questions and methods related pollinators, plants and/ or microbes is meriting.

How to apply
The application should contain the following, written in Swedish or English:

  • A personal cover letter motivating your application and how you can contribute to the research (max one page),
  • CV including list of publications, highlighting max 3 relevant publications, with links to the publications
  • A copy of doctoral degree certificate,
  • Contact information for two reference persons,
  • Other documents that the applicant wishes to claim.

The closing date is May 13th, 2024.

Any additional questions about the research or application should be directed to Helena Wirta, Umeå University, mainly contacted through: Phone number: +358405909898

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 employees, 28 of whom are post-docs. For more information, visit:

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2024-09-01 or according to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-659-24
  • Helena Wirta, 090-7869081
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-7865365
  • SEKO, 090-7865296
  • ST, 090-7865431
Published 19.Apr.2024
Last application date 13.May.2024 11:59 PM CEST

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