Positions – University of Copenhagen

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CMEC > Positions


On this site, we announce all positions and vacancies offers.

Five PhD (3 years) and three Postdoc (2 years) positions:

  1. PhD in Island Macroecology
  2. PhD in Movement Macroecology
  3. PhD in Macroecology of the Anthropocene
  4. PhD in Biodiversity, macroecology and citizen science
  5. PhD (several) in Eco-evolutionary Dynamics and Macroecology

  6. Postdoc in Macroecology/Phylogeography
  7. Postdoc in Tropical Bird Movement
  8. Postdoc in Marine Macroecology

We also welcome inquiries from prospective applicants for a Marie Curie fellowship (2018).

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Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate and its research mission statement: Life on Earth – addressing the big questions

Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate is a long-term funded center of excellence with a cross-disciplinary research program addressing fundamental questions on the origin, maintenance, conservation and future of life and biological diversity on Earth. The 40+ researchers at the center currently represent 14 different nationalities and the working language is English. The center juxtaposes faculty staff scientists from the fields of macroecology, historical biogeography, oceanography, evolutionary biology, ecology, population biology, climate change research, conservation biology and environmental economics.

CMEC combines natural history knowledge, rigorous field work in all corners of the world and an assemblage of huge biological data sets built from primary sources with the use of cutting-edge DNA techniques, novel macroecological and null models, powerful bioinformatics tools and statistics to enable a truly holistic approach for addressing fundamental questions about life on Earth. The aim of CMEC is to elucidate biology’s “laws of nature” by understanding the four main processes influencing life: the origin and birth of species (speciation), the dispersal of species (movement), the persistence of species through interactions with other species (maintenance) and the disappearance of species (extinction). Using and combining knowledge of individual process in a hypothesis-driven spatio-temporal framework, we focus on the grand challenge of answering one of the most important questions facing science today: What are the fundamental evolutionary and ecological principles and processes that generate and maintain the complex patterns of the distribution of life on Earth?

PhD positions

Application deadline is 22 October 2017 23:59 GMT +1


Work on the fundamental questions of how species colonize, evolve and go extinct in oceanic islands. We are particularly interested in how the geological dynamics of islands and archipelagos interact with environmental energy levels to shape island life. The project will likely integrate simulation modelling, data analysis and possibly collection of basic field data. We seek a macroecogist or biogeographer with strong analytical and modelling skills, and solid natural history knowledge. This position is open as a 3-year position for an MSc candidate, or a 4-5 year position for an exceptional BSc candidate through the integrated PhD programme. Please find further information on the job announcement at UCPH job portal via link below.

Contact person:
co-supervisor, Assistant Professor Michael Krabbe Borregaard
e-mail: mkborregaard@snm.ku.dk
phone: (+45) 35 32 11 68

Principal supervisor, Professor Carsten Rahbek
e-mail: crahbek@snm.ku.dk


Work on dispersal and movement as fundamental processes influencing the spatiotemporal distribution of life on Earth. The research aims at closing the gap between the direct study of movement and dispersal and our understanding of the build-up of larger-scale biodiversity. The research program will focus on birds as study organisms and have an emphasis on individual movements through the use of advanced tracking technology but could also include distribution modelling and phylogeographical analyses. We expect the appointee to have a background of natural history with experience in tracking, statistical and modelling skills and knowledge of a computer language such as R. The position is part of an integrated research program addressing fundamental questions on the origin, maintenance, conservation and future of life and biological diversity on Earth.

Contact person:
Principal supervisor, Associate Professor Kasper Thorup
e-mail: kthorup@snm.ku.dk
phone: (+45) 35 32 10 51


Work on biodiversity responses to land use change scenarios from local to continental scales. We seek an ecologist or bioinformatician with excellent analytical, statistical and modeling skills, and preferably with a background in natural history and field work experience. We are particularly interested in 1) testing the use of Digital Era products (LiDAR, Google ground imagery) and image recognition techniques to quantify biodiversity along land use gradients, and 2) developing simulations of biodiversity responses under scenarios of future land use change for conservation planning. Denmark will be used as a case study for developing imagery-based biodiversity measures and test them with local field data. Projections across Europe under global change scenarios will allow assessing the impacts of different land use planning recommendations for preserving biodiversity. The project is part of a larger study that tests hypotheses about the synergistic effects of land use and climate change on biodiversity, and explores novel approaches for land use change quantification.

Contact person:
co-supervisor, Assistant Professor Naia Morueta Holme 
e-mail: morueta-holme@snm.ku.dk;
phone: (+45) 35 32 35 29

Principal supervisor, professor Carsten Rahbek
e-mail: crahbek@snm.ku.dk


Work on a project that is improving our understanding of the distribution of invertebrate in time and space across Denmark using citizen science data. We seek a person with a broad taxonomic knowledge about the Northern European invertebrate fauna, excellent analytical and modeling skills preferably with experience DNA sequencing and related bioinfomatic analyses. The project aims are to 1) quantify biodiversity patterns across Denmark using invertebrates collected by the public, 2) increase our understanding of factors controlling higher level biodiversity and establish a national scale food web by combining the invertebrate data with data on land-use and the avifauna, and 3) develop new methods in monitoring the invertebrate fauna using the samples, citizen science network experience and novel DNA-methods. The candidate will assist in developing the citizen science-based invertebrate collection and ID/size-sorting of the invertebrate samples. The project is funded by Aage V. Jensen Naturfond and is a collaboration with Århus University.

Contact person:
Principal supervisor, Associate Professor Anders P. Tøttrup


Work on multi-disciplinary projects that are improving our understanding of how the geographical ranges of species contract and erode biodiversity. We seek people who are interested in using the latest developments in quantitative ecology, paleoclimatology, geochronology and genomics to establish the processes that drive species to contract their ranges in response to climate change, overexploitation and habitat modification. These projects will involve using simulation models to reconstruct the past range dynamics of vertebrates and plants using information from fossils and species genes. The research outputs will be used to directly inform the conservation and management of future biodiversity.

These positions are dual PhD degrees at the University of Adelaide’s School for Biological Sciences, with joint external supervision from staff at CMEC. The successful candidates will spend 2 years studying at the University of Adelaide and 1 year studying at the University of Copenhagen

Contact persons:
At Adelaide:
Principal supervisor, Dr. Damien Fordham
e-mail: damien.fordham@adelaide.edu.au

Principal supervisor, Associate Professor David Nogués-Bravo
e-mail: dnogues@snm.ku.dk 

Principal supervisor, Professor Carsten Rahbek

Postdoc Positions

Application deadline is 30 October 2017 23:59 GMT +1


Work on projects exploring the past determinants and future responses of intra-specific genetic diversity at large spatial scales. The post-doc will take advantage of new databases generated in CMEC on the distribution of hundreds of thousands of sequences for thousands of vertebrate species. We are seeking for a macroecologist/biogeographer or phylogeographer who has excellent analytical, spatial statistical and modeling skills (e.g. Species Distribution Models, population genetics). Experience in hindcasting SDMs to the past and experience fossil databases will be highly valuable. We are particularly interested in considering the influence of climate change and anthropogenic impacts on the current and future global patterns of intra-specific genetic diversity for vertebrates.

Contact person:
Principal supervisor, Associate Professor David Bravo Nogues
e-mail: dnogues@snm.ku.dk;
phone: (+45) 35 32 12 58


Study the mobility of Andean forest birds to answer general biological questions as defined in the CMEC research program. Almost nothing is known about the movement and dispersal of forest birds because of the extremely elusive behavior of most species, combined with the exceptional difficultly of conducting fieldwork on steep slopes cloaked with impenetrable vegetation.  To overcome these challenges, we will use new GPS tags small enough to be carried by medium-sized birds to provide high-resolution information on geographical position over long time periods via an orbital communication node on the International Space Station (i.e., the ICARUS program: http://icarusinitiative.org/). The movement data will be combined with our genomic data (i.e., the b10k project: https://b10k.genomics.cn/) and our distributional data on Andean birds. The postdoc is part of a longer-term project involving CMEC scientists with ornithological expertise within macroevolution, macroecology, biogeography, bioinformatics and genomics. The postdoc is expected to be instrumental in setting up the field program and testing technological equipment in the Andes. Strong interest and expertise in fieldwork and natural history knowledge of birds is expected.

Contact person:
Principal supervisor, Professor Carsten Rahbek
e-mail: crahbek@snm.ku.dk
phone: (+45) 35 32 10 30


Work on research questions related to what controls large scale spatio-temporal patterns in phytoplankton community composition and diversity using data sets of species occurrences paired with co-incident oceanographic data. In particular, we are investigating how small scale oceanographic features may affect dispersal and maintenance of diversity. The candidate should have well developed analytical, statistical and modelling skills and experience in applying these to molecular (next-generation) sequencing data. Ideally the candidate should also have knowledge of phytoplankton community ecology/biological oceanography.

Contact person:
Principal supervisor, Professor Katherine Richardson
e-mail: kari@science.ku.dk
phone: (+45) 35 32 12 03

Other PhD positions

  • Species contract and biodiversity. Read more.