The University of Helsinki has an international academic community of 40,000 students and staff members, and it offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development. The International Staff Services office assists employees from abroad with their transition to work and life in Finland. The Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme is situated at the Viikki science park and belongs to the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences of University of Helsinki.

The Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme (OEB) invites applications for a


in the research group of Marjo Saastamoinen (, as part of the ERC funded META-STRESS project. The successful applicant will be part of the
Research Centre for Ecological Change at the University of Helsinki.

Our Life-History Evolution research group is a dynamic team with several post docs and PhD students and we are part of the OEB with its vibrant and collaborative research community of experimental, computational, and theoretical labs that all share a common interested in Evolutionary Biology. Cutting edge infrastructure is available at all levels, including high-performance computer clusters, a next-gen sequencing facility, as well as molecular labs. We collaborate with research groups at Cambridge University, Stockholm University, and UCL among others.

The project, initiated in 2015, aims to understand the mechanisms that allow organisms in the wild to cope with environmental stress. Working with the large metapopulation of the Glanville fritillary butterfly gives a unique opportunity to study processes operating from genes within individuals all the way to metapopulation-level dynamics (> 20 years of data; e.g. Kahilainen et al. GCB). In this project ecological and experimental studies are integrated with molecular approaches to unravel the significance of different mechanisms – candidate genes, epigenetic inheritance and intestinal microbial communities – potentially influencing individual responses to environmental challenges.

In addition to exceptional demographic and ecological resources, substantial genomic data is also available for this species, including a whole genome sequence (Ahola et al. 2014 Nature Comm) and linkage map (Rastas et al. 2013 Bioinformatics) for which a new version is underway and ready to be utilized. Some available experimental and genomic data, including across Åland PoolSeq, RNA Seq and sequence data of mothers and their offspring exposed to different stressors, and SNP genotype data from 20,000 individuals genotyped for both known candidate genes and neutral loci across hundreds of populations (Fountain et al. 2016 PNAS, Fountain et al. 2018) is potentially available for the candidate. There is also an option to generate/collect new experimental and/or genomic data within the framework of the META-STRESS project.

The successful candidate should have PhD / postdoctoral experience within the fields of evolutionary biology, evolutionary genetics, microbiology or similar, and a strong interest in working with natural populations. Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English, and the ability to think independently and creatively are required. The candidate must demonstrate ability to work as part of a team, and participate in supervision of more junior group members.

The starting date is flexible but preferable no later than September 2018 (funding is available until end of March 2020), with a probationary period of six months. The salary will be based on level 5 of the demands level chart for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal work performance. Starting salary will be 3300 euros/month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience.

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. Please attach the following documents as a single pdf file: your CV with publications included and a letter (max 2 pages) with a description of your research interests and, in particular, why you would be a suitable candidate for the project. The application letter should also contain possible starting dates and contact information of two persons who can provide a reference letter based on request.

The deadline for submitting the application is July 1st 2018.

For more information, please contact Dr Marjo Saastamoinen by email: marjo.saastamoinen(at)

Haku päättyy

01.07.2018 23:59 EEST