The Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) is seeking a PhD student on the topic of land-ocean interactions, with a focus on how terrestrial inputs affect the flow of energy and contaminants into and through Arctic coastal ecosystems. The PhD position is a part of the project "Where land meets sea: Effects of terrestrial inputs on contaminant dynamics in Arctic coastal ecosystems (TerrACE)", funded by the Norwegian Research Council.
The TerrACE project focuses on generating quantitative information about terrestrial inputs to Arctic coastal waters (Svalbard), and how these inputs can directly and indirectly affect concentrations of contaminants such as mercury and PCBs in affected coastal ecosystems. Using a combination of field-based and modelling approaches, the TerrACE project will provide information about transport of land- and glacier-derived material (freshwater, nutrients, organic matter, contaminants) to Svalbard's coastal waters, and the effects of these inputs on coastal biogeochemistry, ecology, food web structure, and contaminant dynamics (transport, fate, bioaccumulation).
The TerrACE project is a highly interdisciplinary project, linking biogeochemistry, food web ecology and contaminant science, and as such, we seek an enthusiastic, independent and highly motivated student with a strong interest in taking "big picture" approaches to address complex ecological questions. The PhD candidate will play a central role in planning and carrying out field work and sample analysis, and will work with the project team to interpret and publish research results. The scope and focus of the PhD project will also depend to a large degree on the research interests and background of the successful candidate.
The PhD position is based in Tromsø (Norway) and will ideally begin no later than September 2017. The candidate will be employed by NIVA and enrolled at the University of Tromsø, with a supervisory team including Amanda Poste (NIVA), Anita Evenset (Akvaplan-niva and University of Tromsø) and Katrine Borgå (University of Oslo). The TerrACE project provides funding for a 3-year position, however, it may be possible to extend the position to 4 years, by combining the PhD work with a 25 % research position at NIVA.
. Master's degree or equivalent in biology or a related discipline
. Ability to work well in a diverse and interdisciplinary team of researchers
. Motivation to answer complex ecological questions
. Good command of oral and written English, and strong communication skills
Applicants are required to include a 1-2 page research proposal outlining project ideas within the described field of research. This document can be uploaded during the online application process.
. Experience using R
. Experience carrying out field-based research in challenging environments
. Familiarity with one or more of the following topics: use of dietary markers to characterize food web structure, bioaccumulation and food web transfer of contaminants
. Challenging tasks at the leading national water research institute with a comprehensive international network of contacts
. Stimulating work environment with capable and dedicated employees
. Competitive conditions and salaries, pension plans and insurance benefits applicable to PhD positions