The Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme, University of Helsinki, invites applications for


The position will be filled as of 1 September 2018. The project will be carried out in collaboration with John’s Hopkins University in Baltimore, Kansas State University and the Asian School of the Environment, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

The Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme conducts extensive interdisciplinary research on the responses and sensitiveness of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems to human-induced changes with the aim of understanding and providing solutions to sustainability. (

Project and Tasks
The goal of this project is to explore whether different plant functional types (evergreen trees, broadleaf trees or lawn grass) have a divergent influence on ecosystem service (ES) provision in urban parks, and whether the ES potential depends on (i) park age and (ii) geographic location (boreal, temperate and tropical). In particular, we aim at exploring the interactions between the taxonomic and functional diversity of soil microorganisms and some soil fauna and plant functional types in ecosystem processes (including decomposition processes, sequestration of C and nutrients in soils and the production of greenhouse gases).
Furthermore, the multi-biome approach allows resolving the hitherto untested hypotheses that (i) anthropogenic activities, such as park management practices, homogenise urban soils and their biota across the world, and (ii) this should lead to the convergence of functions/ES in urban parks, i.e. soil biota and functions are globally more similar between urban soils relative to native soils.
We are looking for a Post doctoral Fellow with a strong background in soil microbial ecology and a keen interest in molecular aspects of microbial biodiversity. The successful candidate will participate in choosing/establishing experimental areas across the biomes, sampling the soils, preparing and analyzing the soil samples and publishing the results.

The position is located at the Ecosystem and Environment Research Programme, situating in the city of Lahti, ca. 100 km north of Helsinki. The postdoc will have access to a state-of-the-art soil science lab including a modern molecular lab. For more details of the site and research personnel, see:

Qualifications and Conditions of Employment
• The candidate should have a PhD in Soil Science, Soil Ecology, Microbial Ecology, or a closely related subject, with demonstrated experience in experimental soil science
• The candidate must be able to work independently in an English-speaking environment
• Experience with DNA-techniques (such as qPCR, rtPCR), tools for microbial community analyses techniques (e.g. T-RFLP, DGGE), and functional genomics is a merit.
Application procedure
The position is for 4 years. The total monthly salary at the beginning of the contract is ca. EUR 3500, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience. Application should include the following documents as a single pdf file: a CV, degree certificate, a publication list, a 1-2 page letter describing your motivation for this position, and names and contact information of two professional references.

Please submit your application using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the link Apply for the position. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to leave their application via the SAP HR portal. The deadline for submitting the application is July 30, 2018. A six-month trial period will be applied.

For further information please contact Professor Heikki Setälä (urban ecosystem ecology),, Professor Ari Jumpponen (questions related to soil microbial ecology),,

For more information on the Urban Ecosystem Research Group, see

Due date

30.07.2018 23:59 EEST