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Postdoctoral fellowship (2 years) on modeling the evolutionary dynamics of endosymbiosis

The Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics is seeking a postdoctoral fellow in mathematical modelling of evolution. The fellowship is for two years full time with starting date September 1, 2022, or by agreement.

Project description

A pivotal event in the evolution of life on earth was the endosymbiosis that gave rise to mitochondria and eukaryotes. It is unparalleled in terms of its significance as it is thought to have fueled the evolution of all large, complex life. Yet, unlike other major transition in evolution, we lack model systems or theoretical frameworks to understand its origin and evolution. The central aim of this project is to address this significant knowledge gap by developing theoretical models to study a key step in the evolution of life: the endosymbiosis that led to the mitochondria and the eukaryotic lineage.

To this end, we welcome applicants keen to model the evolutionary dynamics of nascent endosymbioses. This is a broad area with multiple directions and possible types of modeling, e.g. differential equations, computer simulations, metabolic models, etc. The appointed candidate will have the opportunity to study the problem according to a mutually agreed research plan.

The postdoc will also be a member of IceLab, which is an interdisciplinary research center located at Umeå University. IceLab’s mission is to facilitate transdisciplinary collaborations – with a focus on cutting-edge research that integrates theoretical, computational, and empirical work. IceLab combines mathematical and computational modeling expertise with a deep interest in working with empirical researchers.

This postdoctoral fellowship is financed by The Kempe Foundations and amounts to 312 000 SEK per year.


A person who has been awarded a doctorate or a foreign qualification deemed to be the equivalent of a doctorate qualifies as a postdoctoral fellow. The doctorate should be in applied mathematics, evolutionary biology, mathematical biology, or other related disciplines. Priority will be given to candidates who have completed their doctoral degree 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.

In addition, the applicant needs to have excellent skills in modern computer programming languages such as C++, Python, or MATLAB so as to compute evolutionary dynamics. Personal qualities such as collaborative skills, strong drive and motivation, critical thinking abilities, creativity and analytical skills are essential. Good knowledge of oral and written English is required. The applicant should be able to perform research independently and as part of a team.


A full application should include:

  1. A cover letter (max 2 pages) summarizing your qualifications, your scientific interests, and your motivation to apply for this position.
  2. Curriculum vitae (CV) including a complete publication list.
  3. Certified copy of doctoral degree certificate and certified copies of other diplomas and course certificates including grades.
  4. Copy of doctoral thesis and (at most) 3 relevant publications.
  5. Contact information for at least two reference persons.

Submit your application as a PDF marked with the reference number FS 2.1.6-26-22, both in the file name and in the subject field of the email, to The application can be written in English (preferably) or Swedish. Application deadline is February 15, 2022.

Further information

For more information, please contact Eric Libby

The Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics

We look forward to receiving your application.