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Two Postdoctoral Fellowships (2 years) – Arctic ecosystems ecology / plant-ecophysiology / microbial ecology

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Two Postdoctoral Fellowships are available on the off-seasonal dynamics of plant and soil microbial processes in arctic ecosystems, based in Abisko at the Climate Impacts Research Centre of the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, Sweden. Application deadline is Sep 28, 2018.

The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science ( carries out research and postgraduate education in ecology, environmental science and physical geography. The department has about 140 employees, about 20 of whom are postdocs. The Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC) is part of the Department and undertakes research in how climate and environmental changes affect the ecosystems of the north. CIRC is stationed year-round in Abisko, Kiruna municipality (for further information, see and

Project description

Arctic ecosystems store large amounts of organic carbon in plants and soil. Changes in their uptake and release of carbon, due to changes in climate, can therefore cause strong feedbacks to our climate. Climate change in the Arctic is especially pronounced during autumn, winter and spring, including increases in temperature, changes in snow fall/cover and rain-on-snow events. Such off-seasonal changes in climate can affect the carbon balance of arctic ecosystems and the underlying plant and soil microbial processes but the extent remains unclear, because most ecological and biogeochemical research in the arctic focusses on the summer. The aim of these two postdoctoral fellowships is to investigate how changes in the timing, frequency and extent of winter freezing conditions, as well as the timing of spring and autumn, affects the (off-)seasonal dynamics of plant and microbial processes in arctic ecosystems, including phenology, physiology, and carbon and nitrogen uptake and release.

We are looking for two postdoctoral fellows to combine field measurements with more controlled laboratory and mesocosm experiments, and use techniques from plant ecology, ecophysiology, soil microbiology, and biogeochemistry, including isotope-based techniques. The experimental lab- and fieldwork will be performed in the subarctic tundra near Abisko (north Sweden), at the research facilities of the Climate Impacts Research Centre. The two postdoctoral fellowships will complement each other, and you will therefore collaborate on most of the research.

Admission as soon as possible, according to agreement. The fellowships are stipends of 300 000 SEK per year for two years and are financed by the Kempe Foundation.

Admission requirements

Successful candidates will have a PhD degree, or a foreign degree that is deemed equivalent, in plant or microbial ecology, plant physiology, biogeochemistry, environmental science, physical geography or a similar field. To be eligible for this fellowship, you should have completed your doctoral degree a maximum of three (3) years before the end of the application period, unless special circumstances exist.

A significant requirement for this fellowship is the candidate's strong interest in research on off-season and frost-related dynamics of plant and soil microbial processes in the Arctic. Strong merits are demonstrated experience with fieldwork and (eco)physiology or isotope techniques, as well as good knowledge of seasonality, arctic ecosystems, plant-soil-microbe interactions, and high-quality publications within the research field. The successful candidate should further have documented good abilities to communicate scientifically in English, both orally and written, creativity, power of initiative, independence and good social skills.

How to apply

The application should contain the following:

  • Short summary of previous research achievements (max 2 pages)
  • Short description of your research ideas as they relate to this project (max 2 pages)
  • CV including list of publications
  • Copy of degree certificate (PhD)
  • Copies of PhD thesis and relevant publications (max 5)
  • Names and contact details of three references

The application should be written in English or in Swedish. The complete application in PDF-format, marked with reference number, Dnr FS 2.1.6-1485-18, should be sent to (state the reference number in the subject line). The application deadline is 2018-09-28.

For more information, contact Dr Ellen Dorrepaal (