Postdoctoral Researcher in the Monitoring of Species Communities
University of Helsinki Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences

The University of Helsinki, founded in 1640, is one of the world’s leading universities for multidisciplinary research. The university has an international academic community of 40,000 students and staff members. The University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development. The International Staff Services office assists employees from abroad with their transition to work and life in Finland.

The Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme (OEB) of the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences comprises roughly 40 research groups which employ 40 principal investigators and 120 researchers. The research programme is situated in the Viikki science park.

The Organismal and Evolutionary Research Programme invites applications for a


in the monitoring of species communities for a fixed term of two years. There will be a trial period of four months in the beginning. There will be a trial period of four months in the beginning. The post doc position is part of the Research Centre for Ecological Change (REC) and are funded by the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation for 1.1.2021-31.12.2022. PIs of the Centre are prof. Anna-Liisa Laine, prof. Otso Ovaskainen, prof. Tomas Roslin, assist. prof. Jarno Vanhatalo and assoc. prof. Marjo Saastamoinen. The starting date is 1.1.2021.

The overreaching aim of the Centre is to generate a coordinated analysis of long-term ecological data to understand impacts of global change. To unravel how populations and interactions between species in nature are responding to ongoing environmental change, the project takes advantage of the unique long-term datasets collected in Finland. The centre also develops state-of-the-art methodology for analysing long-term spatially structured data sets within a joint species distribution modelling framework. For more information on the Centre, please visit

We are seeking a post doc to analyse the state of the art and future strategies for the monitoring of species communities and for sustained generation of long-term community data. The successful candidate will survey the Finnish datasets currently available as well as ongoing programs of data collection, identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the monitoring of Finnish nature, and suggest future strategies for the comprehensive, sustainable survey of our living environment. The data and the monitoring concern both aquatic and terrestrial communities. As a basis for future monitoring strategies, the successful candidate is expected to consider current national and international environmental targets, what insight and metrics is needed to measure success in achieving them, and what critical sources of uncertainty to quantify in evaluating current performance. Thus, the postdoctoral researcher will work at the interface of environmental monitoring, community ecology and statistics.

The successful applicant should have completed a PhD in ecology or a related field, and have strong analytical and statistical skills. We seek candidates with excellent written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to conceive, execute and complete research projects, and to think independently and creatively. The post docs will work as a part of a team at the Centre but also with researchers from other environmental institutes. Overall, excellent social skills are required for extensive collaborations, and knowledge of Finnish is considered an advantage.

For more information, contact prof. Anna-Liisa Laine, prof. Tomas Roslin and/or assoc. prof. Marjo Saastamoinen by email:,,

The salary will be based on level 5 of the demands level chart for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal performance. The starting salary will be ca. 3300–3800 euros/month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience.

Application should include the following documents as a single pdf file: motivational letter (max 1 page), CV (max 2 pages) and publication list. Include also contact information of two persons who can provide a reference letter based on request.

Please submit your application using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the Apply link. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to leave their application via the SAP HR portal. The deadline for submitting the application is 16 August 2020.


Kahilainen, A., van Nouhuys, S., Schultz, T., Saastamoinen, M. 2018. Metapopulation dynamics in a changing climate: Increasing spatial synchrony in weather conditions drives metapopulation synchrony of a butterfly inhabiting a fragmented landscape. Global Change Biology 24, 4316-4329

Kankaanpää, T., Skov, K., Abrego, N., Lund, M., Schmidt, N. M., Roslin, T. 2018. Spatiotemporal snowmelt patterns within a high Arctic landscape – with implications for flora and fauna. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 50, e1415624.

Antão, L. H., Pöyry, J., Leinonen, R., Roslin, T. 2020. Contrasting latitudinal patterns in diversity and stability in a high-latitude species-rich moth community. Global Ecology and Biogeography 29, 896–907.

Dallas, T., Laine, A.-L., Ovaskainen, O. 2019. Detecting parasite associations within multispecies host and parasite communities. Proc. R. Soc. B 286, 20191109.

Due date

16.08.2020 23:59 EEST


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