PhD position in biodiversity and community ecology of deep-sea sponge grounds

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PhD position in biodiversity and community ecology of deep-sea sponge grounds

There is a vacancy for a PhD position at the Department of Biology within biodiversity and community ecology of deep-sea sponge grounds. The position is for a fixed-term period of 4 years.

About the project/work tasks

The research will be performed in the scope of the EU-funded project “Deep-sea sponge grounds ecosystems of the North Atlantic: an integrated approach towards their preservation and sustainable exploitation – SponGES”, a collaborative effort coordinated by the University of Bergen and involving 20 European, Canadian and American partners. The project overarching goal is to develop an integrated ecosystem-based approach for the preservation and sustainable exploitation of deep-sea sponge ecosystems of the North Atlantic, which requires a deep understanding of their diversity, evolutionary and connectivity patterns.

Biodiversity surveys of sponge-dominated communities have mainly been restricted to shallow waters. SponGES aims to investigate the diversity and distribution of deep-water sponge grounds and the environmental drivers shaping these unique sponge-dominated communities. The work will be performed by using state-of-the-art underwater vehicles (ROVs and AUVs) and the main target area for the PhD project will be sponge grounds on seamounts along the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge.

The candidate will be based at the University of Bergen and enrolled in its PhD programme. The work will be performed in close collaboration with researchers from the Bangor University (GB) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Canada). The activities will entail:

  • quantitative and qualitative analyses of video data from sponge grounds in the North Atlantic
  • taxonomic identification/analyses of sponge material from study sites
  • assessment of sponge diversity and distribution in relation to biotic and abiotic environmental factors within and between study sites
  • participation in sampling cruises to several case study areas

Qualifications and personal qualities

  • The applicant must hold a master’s degree or the equivalent in Marine Biology/Ecology (or similar), or must have submitted his/her master’s thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the master’s degree has been awarded.
  • Background experience in quantitative analysis of video material/field data from benthic ecosystems using relevant statistical tools is highly advantageous.
  • Skills in sponge systematics and practical identification based on morphology and DNA-based methods will be positively evaluated
  • Previous experience with deep-sea work and the sponge fauna of the North Atlantic are advantageous
  • Work independently and in a structured manner, and have the ability to cooperate with others.
  • Proficiency in both written and oral English.

Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. Ambitions and potential will also count when evaluating the candidates.

 About the PhD position

The duration of the PhD position is 4 years, of which 25 per cent of the time each year comprises required duties associated with teaching, research and dissemination of results. The employment period may be reduced if you have previously been employed in a recruitment position.

About the research training

As a PhD Candidate, you must participate in an approved educational programme for a PhD degree within a period of 3 years. A final plan for the implementation of the research training must be approved by the faculty within three months after you have commenced in the position. It is a condition that you satisfy the enrolment requirements for the PhD programme at the University of Bergen.

We can offer

  • A good and professionally challenging working environment.
  • Salary at pay grade 50 (Code 1017/Pay range 20, alternative 8) in the state salary scale. Further promotions are made according to qualifications and length of service in the position.
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
  • A position in an inclusive workplace (IA enterprise).
  • Good welfare benefits.

Your application must include

  • A brief account of the applicant’s research interests and motivation for applying for the position.
  • The names and contact information for two reference persons. One of these must be the main advisor for the master’s thesis or equivalent thesis.
  • CV
  • Transcripts and diplomas showing completion of the bachelor’s and master’s degrees, or official confirmation that the master’s thesis has been submitted.
  • Relevant certificates/references.
  • A list of any works of a scientific nature (publication list).
  • Any publications in your name.

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge.

Closing date for applications: 15 November 2017

General information

Detailed information about the position can be obtained by contacting:

Hans Tore Rapp (Professor, University of Bergen,; +47 55584413)

Joana R Xavier (Researcher, University of Bergen, )

The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is therefore a goal. It is also a goal to recruit people with immigrant backgrounds. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position. The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met. The successful applicant must comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at all times.

Further information about the employment process can be found here.