Aarhus Universitet

READVERTISEMENT: Large mammal impacts on the spatiotemporal environmental heterogeneity in elemental availability

Aarhus Universitet

Aarhus University (Danish: Aarhus Universitet, abbreviated AU) is a prestigious public university located in Aarhus, Denmark. Founded in 1928, it is Denmark's second oldest university and the largest, with a total of 43,600 enrolled students as of 1 January 2012, after a merger with Aarhus School of Engineering. In most prestigious ranking lists of the world´s best universities, Aarhus University is placed in the top 100. The university belongs to the Coimbra Group of European universities.
Applications are invited for a 2-year postdoc position in the field of ecological stoichiometry at the Department of Biology, Aarhus University, Denmark. The postdoc project will form part of a larger programme investigating “The chemical landscapes of Danish rewilded ecosystems”, funded by Danmarks Frie Forskningsfond under the Inge Lehmann programme.

Expected start date and duration of employment

The position is for 2 years, and the successful candidate will start no later than 1 April 2023

Job description

Inter- and intra-specific variation in plant stoichiometric characteristics could be driven by morphological and physiological traits/responses and by the spatiotemporal environmental heterogeneity in elemental availability. All of these aspects can be influenced by top-down impact from large mammalian herbivores (through consumption, elemental return through dung, urine and carcasses and through the physical modification of soils).
This postdoc project will contribute to the broader objectives of the overarching project “The chemical landscapes of Danish rewilded ecosystems” which attempts to assess how the restored impact from large mammalian herbivores affects the multi-elemental, stoichiometric niche space available to primary producers. As part of the broader team, the postdoc will help to quantify herbaceous layer structural, and species compositional shifts triggered by herbivore impact. Using this information, the postdoc will be responsible for describing stoichiometric shifts along animal impact gradients and contrasting the stoichiometric niche space of the different plant communities that develop in the wake of varying levels of animal influence. The postdoc will also assess species-specific consequences to productivity, reproduction and survival through experimental nutrient enrichment and through the controlled manipulation of the stoichiometric environment.
The project will consist of a combination of experimental greenhouse work and field-based work (plant species surveys, soil and plant sampling, and in situ nutrient measurements) in Danish rewilding sites. The postdoc is expected to:

  • contribute conceptually to experimental design and project development,
  • lead at least three high-quality publications over the two-year period,
  • contribute to the project’s public outreach and teaching,
  • co-supervise students at BSc and MSc level, and
  • collaborate widely within the research group and with colleagues in the rest of the section.

The academic and personal qualifications sought:

  • Candidates must have a PhD degree in ecology or must have submitted their PhD thesis for assessment before the application deadline.
  • Previous experience with biochemical research is a requirement (this could be experience gained during the PhD work)
  • Plant identification skills and experience in conducting greenhouse experiments will be an advantage.
  • The successful candidate is expected to have strong collaborative skills and the willingness to collaborate within the group and across the section where it is sensible to do so.
  • The successful candidate must have publication experience. Publications relevant to the project topic, and/or publications on previous biochemical research and publications in highranking international journals will be a considerable advantage.
  • The candidate must have good oral and written communication skills in English. International applicants who do not have English as their first language must prove strong English language skills.

Who we are

The successful candidate will form part of the Section for Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity. Broadly, research from the section is focused on the dynamics of biodiversity and ecosystems, often in light of human impact and global change. We study a diverse set of organisms from the arctic to the tropics. More information about the people and the research activities of the group can be found at https://bio.au.dk/en/about-biology/sections/ecoinformatics-and-biodiversity
The successful candidate will be joining a newly established group under the leadership of Assistant Professor Elizabeth le Roux. Broadly, the group’s research focus is on the ecosystem impacts of megafauna and the functional consequences of their restoration.
You will also be affiliated with the ‘Centre for Biodiversity in A Changing World’ (https://bio.au.dk/en/research/research-centres/biochange), and while you will be working primarily with the project PI, Assistant Professor Elizabeth le Roux, close collaboration with, and involvement in the work of other group members is expected where reasonable.

What we offer

The section offers a vibrant, diverse and inclusive research environment that encourages lively, open and critical discussion. The section is very international with communication mostly in English and we welcome international applicants. We take pride in maintaining a workplace that is characterised by professionalism, equality and a healthy work-life balance.

Place of work and area of employment

The place of employment is Aarhus University, Department of Biology, Ny Munkegade, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.
The Department of Biology hosts research programs and teaching curricula that cover all major biological sub-disciplines. The Department currently employs approximately 140 academic and technical staff and 40 PhD students. The Department hosts BSc and MSc study programs in Biology with about 400 students enrolled as well as a PhD program. The Department offer a vibrant and informal research environment with a long-standing tradition for collaboration with international university partners in the absolute elite. The working language is English, and we welcome applications from men and women of all backgrounds. Read about the Danish work-life balance, special opportunities for junior researchers, and the services available when relocating to Aarhus University here. The campus of Aarhus University is located in a beautiful park close to the city centre (population 300.000). Life quality and time allocation to family life in Denmark is high, and international investigations usually report that no other nationality score higher in terms of life satisfaction.

Contact information

For further information, please contact: Assistant professor Elizabeth le Roux, +45 55 25 56 43, [email protected]


Applications must be received no later than 15 January 2023.

Previously submitted applications will be taken into consideration unless they are withdrawn.

Application procedure

The application must be in English and must include

  • a curriculum vitae,
  • degree certificates,
  • a complete list of publications,
  • a cover letter describing your interest in the position (max 400 words)
  • a brief statement of your vision for your career (max 50 words), and two letters of reference to be submitted on your behalf.

Letter of reference

If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in question before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline. Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.

Formalities and salary range

Natural Sciences refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities.

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants.

Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University’s website.

If you require alternative methods of application or screening, you must approach Aarhus Universitet directly to request this, as we're not responsible for the employer's application process.

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