[Taxacom] 3-year postdoctoral position in Phylogenomics

Vladimir Gusarov vladimir.gusarov at nhm.uio.no
Fri Mar 20 09:08:31 CDT 2020

PostDoc in Phylogenomics


About the position

A 3-year PostDoc position is available at the Natural History Museum 
(NHM), University of Oslo.

The subject of the PostDoc position will be part of the recently founded 
RCN-project “InvertOmics - Phylogeny and evolution of lophotrochozoan 
invertebrates based on genomic data”. The origin and evolution of 
Bilateria is controversially discussed in several biological disciplines 
such as systematics or evolutionary developmental biology. In one 
hypothesis, evolution in Bilateria advances from a simple body 
organization similar to flatworms towards more complex forms several 
times independently. In the other one, the evolution progresses in the 
opposite direction from a complex ancestor more like an annelid to 
simple organizations by several separate reductions. Support for one or 
the other depends on the phylogeny and evolution of Lophotrochozoa, one 
of the major bilaterian taxa, but a robust phylogeny is still lacking 
despite recent phylogenomic studies. This is due to both low coverage by 
genomic data and misleading biases in data of lophotrochozoan taxa. In 
this project, high-quality reference genomes shall be generated and new 
procedures to both ameliorate negative effects of biases and establish a 
new support measurement, which is entirely different from all recent 
support measurements. Due to both the large genomic dataset and these 
thorough analyses, a robust phylogeny of Lophotrochozoa shall be 
provided allowing contributions to discussions about the origin and 
evolution of Bilateria as well as of lophotrochozoan taxa and character 

The aim of this PostDoc project is to concentrate on the methodological 
problems of the reconstruction of the phylogeny of Lophotrochozoa. The 
goal is to develop a new approach to assess the support for specific 
phylogenetic hypotheses and determine a priori the best procedure to 
ameliorate the effect of misleading biases. Therefore, the effects of 
misleading biases shall be simulated in a phylogenomic setting based on 
parameter spaces derived from empirical data and also include 
confounding effects of reticulate evolution, adaptive radiations and 
incomplete lineage sorting. Based on these simulated data both a 
best-practice procedure and new support measurement on how likely a 
reconstructed relationship is true shall be derived. These approaches 
will be used to address possible biases in the dataset compiled from 
genomic data to reconstruct the phylogeny of Lophotrochozoa (see the 
accompanying advertisement for a PhD position).

The Natural History Museum has a modern DNA laboratory as well as access 
to the Norwegian Supercomputer facilities. The postdoc will be 
associated with the research group “Frontiers in Evolutionary Zoology”, 
specifically Torsten Struck (Professor of Evolutionary Genomics).

Qualification requirements

- We seek a person with strong motivation for research in phylogenomics.
- The candidate must be skilled in phylogenetic reconstruction methods.
- Experience with the development of new tools for phylogenetics is 
required and with the generation of huge numbers of simulated datasets 
is preferable.
- Computing skills in either Deep Learning, Neural Networks or Machine 
Learning Algorithms are advantageous.
- Communication skills (including written and spoken English)
- A strong academic track record
- Team-working and networking skills
- A degree equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in biology, 
bioinformatics or equivalent. For candidates not having finished their 
doctoral degree the doctoral dissertation must be submitted for 
evaluation by the closing date of the call. An appointment is dependent 
on the defense of the doctoral thesis being approved.

We offer

- salary NOK 523 200 - 605 500 per annum depending on qualifications in 
position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (position code 1352)
- challenging research questions and friendly working environment, which 
is close to both the city center of Oslo, a vibrant and international 
city, which is nice to live in, and to nature parks and mountains
- full funding of the project research-related activities, including 
presentation of results at international conferences.
- membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
- atractive welfare benefits

How to apply

The application must include

- cover letter (statement of motivation, summarizing scientific work and 
research interest)
- CV (summarizing education, positions, pedagogical experience, 
administrative experience and other qualifying activity)
- copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)
- a complete list of publications
- a one-page statement explaining how a PostDoc in Phylogenomics will 
fit into the applicant’s career plan
- list of reference persons: 2-3 references (name, relation to 
candidate, e-mail and phone number)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic 
recruiting system. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an 
explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all 
documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the 
documented, academic qualifications, as well as the candidate's 
motivation and personal suitability. Interviews with the best qualified 
candidates will be arranged.

It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to complete 
the project in the course of the period of employment.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to 
Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Fellow period at 
the University of Oslo.
According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) 
information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant 
list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to 
secure rights to research results etc.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in 
the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact information

About the project: Professor Torsten Hugo Struck: t.h.struck at nhm.uio.no

About the recruitment system: HR-Adviser Thomas Brånå: 
thomas.brana at nhm.uio.no

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest ranked educational 
and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. With 
its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised 
research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.

The Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo is Norway’s most 
comprehensive natural history collection. For almost 200 years, 
specimens of animals, fungi, plants, rocks, minerals and fossils have 
been collected, studied and preserved here. The museum is located at 
Økern and in the beautiful Botanical Garden, which is not only popular 
for recreation, but is a scientific collection in itself.

Deadline: 14.04.2020.


Vladimir Gusarov, Ph.D.
Curator of Entomology
Department of Zoology
Natural History Museum
University of Oslo                           \\ /
P.O. Box 1172 Blindern                   ooooDD0-0C
NO-0318 Oslo                                 // \
Tel +47 22851703
Fax +47 22851837
email: vladimir.gusarov at nhm.uio.no

Visiting address (and non - P.O. Box address for courier deliveries):
Department of Zoology
Natural History Museum
University of Oslo
Sars Gate 1
NO-0562 Oslo

Insect collection: http://www.nhm.uio.no/english/research/nsi/collection/
Personal web page: 
Internet resources for Staphylinidae: 


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