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Postdoctoral Researcher (2 years) on Tropical Ecology & Climate Change

Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och geovetenskap




  • Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
  • Extent 100%
  • Place Umeå

The Department of Ecology and Environmental science (EMG) is searching for a postdoctoral researcher in Environmental Science with a focus on tropical ecophysiology, ecosystem science and climate change. The position, limited to two years of full-time employment and placed at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science at Umeå University, will start on March 1, 2021 or according to agreement. Last day to apply is November 30, 2020.

The Department of Ecology and Environment Sciences (EMG), Umeå University, performs research and research education in ecology, environmental science and physical geography. The department has approximately 150 employees of which about 20 are post docs. For more information about the department, see

Project description and working tasks
Tropical mountain cloud forests provide a number of vital ecosystem services, in terms of biodiversity, water regulation and carbon sequestration. All of these ecological functions are threatened by climate change in the region. The project aims to investigate the speed of which the climate changes affects tropical forests.

This project builds upon an existing unique experimental infrastructure ( simulating one important component of expected  climate changes – reduction of rainfall and cloud water inputs. We have already collected a strong basic data series on meteorology and carbon cycling at the site. In the current project we want to substantially extend this work with a suite of novel, cutting edge approaches (hyperspectral image analysis from drones, ecophysiological modelling, analysis of ecophysiology and biogeochemistry) and with the collaborative support of a multidisciplinary team of local scientists and institutions.

The proposed work will involve extended fieldwork at the study site in pristine tropical cloud forest in Peru. This includes:

(i) coordinate ongoing site measurements on plant / soil carbon stocks and meteorology and

(ii) initiate the following substantial new research programs within:

(1) Plant ecophysiology - What causes plant mortality following drought?

(2) Plant traits - do plant traits explain the risk and type of drought-associated mortality across plant groups?

The balance and focus among programs for the project is flexible depending upon the skill set and interests of the postdoctoral researcher.

The post doc must be willing to travel extensively and spend long periods of time doing fieldwork.


Required qualifications

A person who has been awarded a doctorate or a foreign qualification deemed to be the equivalent of a doctorate qualifies for employment as a postdoctoral fellow. Priority should be given to candidates who have completed their doctoral degree in a relevant area (environmental sciences, ecology, soil science, physical geography) no more than three years before the closing date of the application. A candidate who has completed their degree prior to this may be considered if special circumstances exist. Special circumstances include absence due to illness, parental leave or clinical practice, appointments of trust in trade unions or similar circumstances.

We are searching for a postdoc with the following qualifications:

  • Good knowledge of ecosystem biogeochemical, plant ecophysiological or soil biochemical analytical methods.
  • Good knowledge of quantitative analysis, particularly statistics.
  • Good knowledge in oral and written English, and experience of scientific publication.
  • Good ability to work independently and to organize one’s own work schedule.
  • Good ability to work successfully within a team, and to manage and lead a team.

Desirable qualifications

  • Experience of field work in remote sites, particularly in tropical forest and in South America.
  • Skills in spoken/written Spanish language.
  • Documented knowledge and experience of basic medical emergency training.
  • Experience with applying for and winning grants or other awards.

A full application should include:

  • Personal letter (maximum two pages)Curriculum vitae (CV) with publication list.
  • Certified copy of doctoral degree certificate.
  • Certified copies of other diplomas, list of completed academic courses and grades.
  • Copy of doctoral thesis and possibly x number of relevant articles.
  • Contact information for at least two reference persons.
  • Other documents wished to be claimed.

The application can be written in Swedish or English, preferably English. The attached documents should be in Word or PDF format. The application must be submitted via Umeå University's e-recruitment system Varbi/MyNetwork at the latest November 30, 2020

Further details regarding this position are provided by Professor Daniel Metcalfe:


March 1st, 2021 or accordning to agreement


Professor Daniel Metcalfe

090-786 50 00

Registration number

AN 2.2.1-1432-20


Monthly salary

Union representative


090-786 53 65


090-786 52 96


090-786 54 31




Umeå University wants to offer an equal environment where open dialogue between people with different backgrounds and perspectives lay the foundation for learning, creativity and development. We welcome people with different backgrounds and experiences to apply for the current employment. We kindly decline offers of recruitment and advertising help.