PhD position in bryophyte ecology with the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland

    University of Iceland
    Biological sciences
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    31/08/2022 23:00 - Europe/London
    Iceland › Reykjavík
    36 hours per week


The Faculty of Life- and Environmental Sciences at the University of Iceland is seeking a motivated candidate for a three-year PhD position for the project ¿Bryophytes as ecosystem engineers in a changing tundra¿. The position is funded by the University of Iceland Research Fund. The PhD project will be linked to a larger project funded by the Icelandic Research Fund, Rannís, addressing processes that trap degraded tundra ecosystems in a degraded state (TRAPP). 

Field of work

Short description of the project

Bryophytes are a major component in many tundra plant communities and potentially have multiple effects on the physical environment of tundra ecosystems as well as providing a habitat for diverse organisms building complex food webs. The aim of the PhD project is to investigate bryophyte functional traits, including the microbial/micro faunal traits, that drive ecosystem processes in tundra rangelands of Iceland (above potential treeline), and how they vary between Bryophyte Functional Groups, climatic condition, and herbivory. 

The research team and collaboration - The PhD student will work within the Tundra Ecology Lab, jointly run by Ingibjörg Svala Jónsdóttir at the University of Iceland and Isabel C. Barrio at the Agricultural University of Iceland (https://tundraecology.hi.is/). The project will also be based on collaboration with the Molecular Population Biology lab at the University of Iceland (Snæbjörn Pálsson), the Microbial Ecology lab at the University of Akureyri (Oddur Vilhelmsson) and the Terrestrial Ecology at Copenhagen University (Signe Lett, Kathrin Rousk).

Qualification requirements

We are seeking a highly motivated candidate with outstanding track-record and:

  • M.Sc. degree in in Biology, Microbiology or Ecology or related field
  • Background knowledge in terrestrial ecology
  • Excellent English, both written and spoken
  • Good planning and organization skills 
  • Good communication and teamwork skills
  • Good ability to work independently

In addition to the above requirements, it is desirable to have: 

  • Good skills in statistical analysis (the R software)
  • Experience of microbial research and application of molecular methods 
  • Experience of laboratory work and fieldwork under demanding conditions (the highlands)

Application process

The PhD student is expected to start in mid-November 2022. The selected candidate must send a formal application for PhD studentship at the University of Iceland and the position is dependent on acceptance into the PhD program.

The PhD student position is for 3 years which the current funding covers.

The application shall include:

  • A short letter (max. 3 pages) of motivation where the candidates also provide their future vision and why pursuing a PhD degree within the advertised position.
  • CV (curriculum vitae) including education, research and work experience. 
  • Certificates of education (BS and MSc degree) and course transcripts with grades. 
  • Contact information for two referees who can provide a recommendation letter 
  • Overview of publications (if any).
  • (Optional) Applicants are also invited to send PDF of MS thesis (in any language) and any other relevant publications if available (max. 5 documents).

All applications will be answered and applicants will be notified of the employment decision when a final decision has been made. Applications will be valid for six months from the end of the application deadline. Appointments to positions at the University of Iceland are made in consideration of the Equal Rights Policy of the University of Iceland - https://english.hi.is/node/50017

The University of Iceland has a special Language Policy - https://english.hi.is/node/24581/ 

The University of Iceland is a growing community of knowledge and is a very dynamic and interesting workplace. Our values are academic freedom, professionalism and equality. The University strives to provide flexibility and encourages participation in the progression of the studies and research in all fields within the realm of the University.

The School of Engineering and Natural Sciences employs ca. 390 people involved with teaching and research. The School offers an international working environment, with the number of international employees and students increasing each year. Currently about quarter of all employees and graduate students are international. The school has around 2000 students and numerous graduate students. The School of Engineering and Natural Sciences is proud of its¿ diversity and reform-minded environment where knowledge acquisition and sharing is paramount.

Application deadline

Application deadline is 31.08.2022


For further information contact

Ingibjörg Svala Jónsdóttir


Guðrún Hrönn Hilmarsdóttir


525 4621

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1 position(s) available at
University of Iceland
Sæmundargata 6

EURAXESS offer ID: 803580


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