Researcher in theoretical evolutionary biology
Uppsala University, Department of Ecology and Genetics

Researcher in theoretical evolutionary biology

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education and to interact constructively with society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has 44.000 students, 7.100 employees and a turnover of SEK 7 billion.


A position as a (postdoctoral) researcher in theoretical evolutionary biology is available in the research groups of Dr. Claus Rueffler and Prof. Göran Arnqvist at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study and the Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Sweden.


The Department of Ecology and Genetics is an international environment with staff and students from all over the world. Our research spans from evolutionary ecology and genetics to studies of ecosystems. For more information, see


Project description: We are broadly interested is the evolution and maintenance of adaptive diversity at different levels of biological organization. Potential projects include (but are not limited to):


(i) Many organisms occupy different ecological niches during their life cycle. For example, juveniles and adult individuals of the same species use different resources and migrating birds repeatedly forage in different geographic regions. In this project, the postdoctoral fellow will study how such complex life cycles affect the potential for ecological diversification.


(ii) Competition, for example over shared resources, is a major source of negative frequency-dependent selection that facilitates coexistence of different phenotypes. Furthermore, many mathematical models have shown that such diversity can emerge by gradual evolution at so-called evolutionary branching points. Cooperation by division of labor is a potential alternative mechanism favoring the emergence of diversity and this idea is much less explored from a theoretical perspective. In this project, the postdoctoral fellow will explore the conditions allowing for the emergence of diversity driven by division of labor in a variety of models.


(iii) Frequency dependent selection across many loci simultaneously is a biologically plausible scenario, but one which may be ineffectual in terms of the maintenance of adaptive diversity largely due to recombination. In this project, using polygenic models, we ask how the evolution of recombination rates may interact with frequency dependent selection to shape the architecture of adaptive genetic variation.


Duties: Independent development of new theory regarding the project in collaboration with other researchers at the department. Compilation and presentation of the results in the form of scientific publications. Detailed research plans will be developed in collaboration with the successful candidate, and tailored to match her/his individual interests and strengths.


Qualifications required: The successful candidate must have a PhD in theoretical biology or mathematics/theoretical physics/computer science. In the latter case, a documented interest in ecology and evolutionary biology is a requirement. Proficiency in English is an additional requirement. The PhD should have been completed within three years of the application deadline. Applicants that received their PhD earlier than this date will be considered if special circumstances exist (such as prolonged periods of illness, parental leave, military service, union duties and others of similar character).


Qualifications desired: We seek candidates with a documented expertise in mathematical modelling in evolutionary biology. Experience with Mathematica and another programming language suitable for individual-based simulations is highly desirable. Experience of tackling problems relating to the evolution and maintenance of adaptive diversity is a merit. Because the holder of this position will collaborate and interact closely with several group members, we will put emphasis on both independence and ability to collaborate.


Uppsala University aims for gender balance and diversity in all activities in order to achieve a higher quality at all levels of the organization. We therefore welcome applicants of any gender and with different birth background, functionality and life experience.


Position: The position is a full time temporary position for one year, with a very likely extension to two years.


Salary: Individual salary.


Starting date: 2020-01-01 or as agreed.


Application:The application should include (1) a 1-3 page cover letter that clearly states the candidate’s research interests, qualification, relevant experience, future research ambitions and specifying the date they will be available to start the position (max. 2 A4 pages), (2) CV including a list of publications, (3) copy of the doctoral degree, (4) contact information to three reference persons (e-mail address and phone number) and (5) any unpublished work that you would like to present in support of your application. The application should be written in English.


For further information about the position please contact: Dr. Claus Rüffler, or Prof. Göran Arnqvist,


You are welcome to submit your application no later than 2019-09-16. UFV-PA 2019/2556.


Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services. Applications must be submitted as described in this advertisement.


Placement: Department of Ecology and Genetics

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100%

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: Saco-rådet
Seko Universitetsklubben
Number of reference: UFV-PA 2019/2556

Last application date: 2019-09-16

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Bioloxy


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