PhD opportunity: physiological and evolutionary responses of marine copepods to Arctic climate change

The Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) in Tromsø, Norway invites applications for a three-year PhD student fellowship investigating the physiological and evolutionary responses of marine organisms to climate change and ocean acidification in the Arctic. The work will be conducted in our Research Department, Section for Ecotoxicology.

The position is linked to NPI’s ongoing research on the effects of ocean acidification on marine zooplankton and will be a key component of the larger project “EvoCal, Arctic Marine Evolution: using local adaptation to infer future evolutionary responses of Calanus copepods to a changing environment”, which has several Norwegian and foreign collaborators. Climate change and ocean acidification are presenting marine organisms with significant physiological challenges. Arctic regions are expected to undergo the fastest changes with regards to warming and acidification. The degree to which evolutionary processes can help marine organisms survive these changes in the environment is an important and timely focus of research.

Work Content

The candidate will carry out a series of experimental studies on boreal and arctic copepod populations (Calanus finmarchicus and C. glacialis). The copepods will be collected from several fjords from the arctic Svalbard to boreal Norway to determine whether sub-populations have adapted to their local environment over long periods of time, a phenomenon known as known as local adaptation. The experiments will map the physiological tolerance of the copepods to temperature, pH, and salinity via measuring respiration, food intake, and metabolic by-products (via metabolomics) across disparate populations along a latitudinal gradient. In addition, the genetic population structure of the copepods will be analysed, and the physical environment of the fjords documented, using hydrographic moorings. The results are to be published in a timely fashion in international peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences and workshops.

Close collaboration is expected with other researchers in the Research Department at the Norwegian Polar Institute and with national and international project partners.


The successful candidate must hold a completed master’s degree in marine biology, marine science, molecular biology or other related discipline. A documented completed master’s degree is a prerequisite for employment and grades from the master’s degree need to meet the requirements in order to be enrolled in the PhD program of UiT – the Arctic University of Norway. See UiT’s homepage for further information:

Applicants must have experience and skills in basic lab, analytical and statistical methods. Experience in experimental ecological, physiological and/or evolutionary studies, together with experience in experimental design is highly desirable. Experience with experimental work with zooplankton, use of molecular genetic tools and analyses of molecular genetic data, and from polar marine field work is an advantage. Prior work experience from interdisciplinary research teams and authorship/co-authorship of scientific publications setting is beneficial.

We are looking for a positive, committed and resourceful person, with good cooperative skills, but who also has the ability to work independently. Strong motivation and personal suitability will be emphasized.

Good written and spoken communication skills in English are required. The work language of the Norwegian Polar Institute is Norwegian, so knowledge of Norwegian language will be emphasized. Candidates who do not speak Norwegian are expected to attend language courses within the first two years in the position since communicating in Norwegian is important for the employee, as well as for the institute. The institute will pay for completed and passed courses.

General Information

The work place is Tromsø, Norway, but the work involves field and lab work in Svalbard and other places in Norway. Beyond that, there is the possibility for staying with partners in Canada and other universities in Norway. Some travelling is therefore expected. The salary will be commensurate with the qualifications of the successful candidate according to the Norwegian state salary code 1378 Research Fellow. There will be a 2% deduction to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

Arctic field work can be arduous. Good mental and physical health is therefore required. Valid health certificates according to the NPI’s guidelines are a prerequisite for participation on expeditions.

The candidate will be formally enrolled at UiT – the Arctic University of Norway (UiT) and supervised at the NPI. The candidate is expected to follow and complete all necessary and required PhD courses amounting to 30 ECTS. A plan for the research training must be approved by UiT. The position as research fellow is an educational position with completed Doctor’s degree as the primary goal.

The Norwegian Polar Institute wants diversity among our staff. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of gender, cultural background, age, impaired ability or incomplete resumes. The latter two may be used for registration purposes in connection with the government’s policies.

Tromsø is a city of 70.000 residents situated in northern Norway at nearly 70°N. Tromsø is known as a good place to experience the midnight sun, polar night, varied outdoor activities and a lively cultural and entertainment environment. It is also a major, and expanding, centre for research, with numerous government and private research institutions and a major university. The NPI’s Research Department is very diverse, both in scientific interests and in nationalities.


Further inquiries about the position may be directed senior Research Scientist Dr. Haakon Hop,, tel. +47 77 75 05 22 or section leader Dr. Geir Wing Gabrielsen,, tel. +47 77 75 05 29. Contact person at UiT – The Arctic University of Norway is Dr. Camilla Svensen,, tel. +47 77 64 45 32.

The application deadline is 15 December 2019.

The application should include details of your relevant qualifications and experience, CV, publication list, copies of academic diplomas, copies of testimonials, and names of at least three references. As part of the application, a short description (max. 2 pages) describing the applicant’s personal and scientific interest in obtaining a PhD should be included. The application must be submitted electronically through Please, do not include copies of articles or other work in the application, but note that it may be requested later in the process.

All applications are handled in confidentiality until the application deadline. Thereafter, a public list of applicants will be prepared. Applicants who wish to reserve their applications from the public list must give reasons for this in their applications. Information about an applicant can be made public even if the applicant has requested that they be excluded from the public list of applicants, cf. Freedom of Information Act, Section 25, 2nd paragraph.

More information.

  • Reset


OA-ICC Highlights

%d bloggers like this: