Postdoctoral position in spatial population modelling in seabirds

Tromsø Nivå 1 Apply before: 2024-09-01

Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) is the leading research institute for applied ecology in Norway. Applications are invited for a two-year postdoctoral research associate position in the project “Spatial population dynamic in seabirds” at the NINA office in Tromsø, Norway. 

The project is funded through the SEAPOP program. SEAPOP is the national seabird monitoring program in Norway and is responsible for collecting data and knowledge of seabirds relevant for environmental and marine management. An important deliverable from SEAPOP is quantitative knowledge of the population status and trends of Norwegian seabirds. Seabird populations are experiencing large changes in both time and space due to climate change and anthropogenic activities. It is therefore a need to increase our knowledge of seabirds' population dynamics in time and space to meet future challenges related to conservation and ecosystem-based management. 

The overall goal of the project “Spatial population dynamics in seabirds” is to make robust quantitative estimates of the population status and dynamics of Norwegian seabirds, and to further develop the seabird monitoring system in Norway. By using timeseries data obtained by the SEAPOP program, the aim is to 1) develop an analytical tool that produce robust estimates of seabirds’ population size and trends on different spatial scales from the SEAPOP datasets, 2) analyze how seabirds breeding populations have changed in time and space over time, and 3) study the causes of these changes. 

The postdoctoral researcher will be a member of a strong project group with national collaborators from NINA and the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) and will work in close collaboration with members of this group.

About NINA
The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) is Norway’s leading institution for applied ecological research, emphasizing the interaction between human society, natural resources and biodiversity. NINA is among Norway’s largest applied ecology research institutes and is an independent research institute with more than 330 employees. Its staff conducts research within the natural and social sciences that are related to the interactions between humans and nature. NINA seeks to conduct research of very high quality which is directly relevant for real world application. NINA’s expertise include the genetic, population, species, ecosystem and landscape level, in terrestrial, freshwater and coastal marine environments. It is an independent foundation established in 1988. NINA is headquartered in Trondheim, and has research departments in Oslo, Lillehammer, Bergen and Tromsø, and research facilities for seabirds at Hjelmsøya and Røst, arctic fox at Oppdal and salmonid fishes at Ims. We have a wide range of expertise and experience in both natural science and social science research, including how various driving forces affect nature and the interactions between humans and nature. NINA is Norway’s leading research institute in applied ecology and collaborates extensively with other research communities nationally and internationally. For more information about NINA –

The position will be placed at the NINA Tromsø office, which has a strong group of seabird quantitative ecologists with a long history and tradition of working with seabirds’ population dynamic, life-history strategies, spatial ecology and conservation biology. NINA Tromsø provides a supportive and modern working environment, and is located at the Fram Centre for High North Research (, providing unique opportunities for collaboration and networking with other institutes and researchers. Additionally, Tromsø is surrounded by spectacular nature, providing a great opportunity for outdoor activities. 

The position
The successful candidate will join a team of researchers working with the development of robust estimates of seabird population sizes and trends using existing data series; analyzing how the spatio-temporal dynamics of seabird populations is related to environmental factors; and evaluating and further develop the Norwegian monitoring system of seabirds. In relation to this work, it is expected that the candidate will be the senior author of at least two scientific papers on seabirds' spatial population dynamics. The successful candidate will work closely together with the core members of the project team and is expected to participate in the compilation and analyses of the Norwegian seabird datasets as well as writing scientific publications and participate in scientific dissemination and communication. 

This exciting research project is ideally suited for a quantitatively oriented postdoctoral researcher with interests in the interface between ecology, population dynamics, life-history theory and conservation biology. The project provides a unique opportunity for establishing future research networks. Expected start up is as soon as possible, and preferably before 1. December 2024. 

• Candidates must have a PhD in Ecology or another relevant field, and a strong quantitative background.
• We are seeking a candidate with strong skills in population-dynamic modelling. Competences in spatial ecology, life-history theory and conservation biology are an advantage.
• The candidate must have proven skills in statistical analyzes of large datasets and must be proficient in R. Experience with databases, preferably PostgreSQL is an advantage.
• The candidate should have good communication skills and a strong publication record for his/her career stage.
• The ideal candidate will be creative and able to work well in a team.
• The candidate should have a high level of proficiency in verbal and written English. Knowledge of a Scandinavian language is also viewed favourably but not required.

NINA offers:
• a workplace in one of Europe's foremost environmental institutes
• salary by qualifications
• flexi-time scheme
• good pension scheme and group life insurance
• varied and interesting work at a leading research institute for applied ecology
• good opportunities for professional development
• a work and career development plan will be tailored for the candidate to ensure future employment prospects
• a pleasant working environment in modern premises of high standard

The application must contain:
• A cover letter outlining the candidate’s professional experience and interest that are relevant to the scope of the position.
• A curriculum vitae with information on education, professional experience, publications, presentations, and research grants. The successful candidate will be asked to submit certified copies of university transcripts and diplomas.
• Up to five examples of research products that illustrate the applicant’s qualifications. Products can include published articles, technical reports or unpublished manuscripts. All materials will be treated in confidence.
• Contact information for three referees who can speak in support of the qualifications of the candidate. Candidates will be notified before their referees are contacted. 

Selected qualified candidates will be called in for an interview. 

For NINA, a good working environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply regardless of e.g. gender, functional ability, cultural background or if you have been out of work for a period of time. If necessary, the workplace will be adapted for people with disabilities. 

NINA's everyday language is Norwegian, and language training is provided. 

Questions about the position can be directed to: Researcher Tone Kristin Reiertsen, phone +47 917 89 880 or Assistant Research Director Amanda Poste, phone +47 982 15 479.

Closing date: 1. September 2024


Tone Kristin Reiertsen, Researcher
+47 917 89 880

Amanda Poste, Assistant Research Director
+47 982 15 479