Postdoctoral Research Position in Paleoceanography and Molecular Ecology


NORCE is a new and forward-looking research institute, with expertise in a wide range of fields and strong communities of knowledge. We deliver research and innovation in energy, health care, climate, the environment, society and technology.

Our solutions address key challenges for society and contribute to value creation on the local, national and global levels.

About the position

We announce a 36-month (3 year) postdoctoral research assistant (PDRA) position, which may become a permanent researcher position.

The position is in the field of paleoceanography and molecular ecology at NORCE Climate. The associated project is a cross-disciplinary research project entitled A Genetic View into Past Sea Ice Variability in the Arctic (AGENSI), funded through a European Research Council Consolidator Grant ( The successful PDRA candidate is expected to contribute to the development of environmental ancient DNA as a tool for past Arctic sea ice reconstructions.

This research is at the forefront of a new research field that combines paleoceanography and molecular ecology. We are therefore seeking a highly motivated candidate to strengthen our enthusiastic, cross-departmental research group at NORCE in order to drive this new research field forward.

The AGENSI project to which the PDRA is associated is a collaboration between the departments of NORCE Climate and NORCE Environment. NORCE Climate employs ca. 60 researchers conducting both basic and applied research on the past, present and future climate system, on anthropogenic climate change and its impact on societies, and on the feasibility of climate change mitigation options. NORCE Climate is one of the four partners of the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research (BCCR), which is one of the largest climate research centres in Scandinavia and among the leading centres in Europe. NORCE Environment employs ca. 100 researchers and conducts basic and applied research for knowledge-based ecosystem assessment and mitigation of environmental impacts. Their vision is to develop and deliver knowledge-based solutions that promote ecologically sound resource management and management innovation. The PDRA will work closely with the Molecular Ecology Research Group (MERG) at NORCE Environment, whose expertise includes development and application of molecular genetic tools to address ecological research question.

Project background

To estimate the impact of the ongoing Arctic sea ice reduction, time series beyond observational Arctic sea ice records are essential. Yet, there are few proxies available to generate long sea ice records on geological time scales. This limits our understanding of the natural variation and drivers of sea ice dynamics in the climate system, thereby propagating major uncertainties about the future Arctic. In AGENSI, we aim to provide qualitative and quantitative sea ice reconstructions for the Late Quaternary using sedimentary ancient DNA from marine sediments in the Arctic. Your work tasks

Your task will be to develop and apply environmental ancient DNA for Arctic sea ice reconstructions in the Late Quaternary. Specific work tasks include:

  • Perform laboratory work to extract, quantify and quality-assess ancient DNA from marine sediments
  • Perform qualitative (NGS metabarcoding) and quantitative (ddPCR/qPCR) molecular genetic analyses of ancient DNA
  • Conduct bioinformatic and statistical analyses of qualitative and quantitative DNA results together with climate observation datasets
  • Publish in relevant peer-reviewed journals
  • Participate in research cruise(s) in the Arctic
  • Assist the AGENSI team with the ancient DNA lab management
  • Apply for research project funding (an evaluation criterium for permanent position)

Your education

A PhD degree in biosciences, molecular biology, ecology, molecular ecology, earth sciences or relevant field is required.

Your qualifications and personal skills

  • Experience with PCR and bioinformatic analysis of high-throughput DNA sequence data
  • Experience with statistics is required
  • Experience with (paleo-)ecology, paleoceanography and/or taxonomy is an advantage
  • Meticulous laboratory and organizational skills
  • Team player, who can also work independently
  • Good communication skills across disciplines
  • Proficiency in both written and oral English

We offer

  • A unique opportunity to strengthen an enthusiastic research group working across disciplines
  • A stimulating and professionally challenging working environment in an emerging research field
  • Possibility to influence your own work, work-time and choice of solutions
  • Salary in accordance with the Civil Service pay grade table scale for PDRA
  • Excellent welfare benefits

Your application must include

  • A brief account of your research interests and specific motivation for applying (max. 1 page)
  • A research plan for the 3-year position that aligns with the main goals of AGENSI (, as well as future plans if the position is made permanent (max. 1 page)
  • The names and contact details for at least two references with whom you have worked directly.
  • Curriculum vitae with publications list
  • Transcripts, diplomas and relevant certificates. If a PhD thesis has not yet been awarded: an official confirmation that the doctoral thesis has been submitted.

Please note that the application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded together with your application to the recruitment portal JobbNorge.

General info

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Stijn De Schepper (

Questions about the application process can be directed to HR Adviser Bente H. Martinsen (


Click on "APPLY NOW" on this page

Deadline: 20th May 2020

posted: 21 April 2020     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.