The Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO) is one of Norway’s largest research institutes. NIBIO’s activities lie within agriculture, food, climate and the environment. The Institute conducts research and management support, and provides knowledge for use in national preparedness, governmental and district management, industry, and the society at large. NIBIO has approximately 700 employees present in all parts of the country. Its main office is located at Ås in Akershus. NIBIO is owned by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. 


Department for Landscape and Biodiversity conducts research within landscape and vegetation ecology and ecosystem services. The research focus specifically on effects of land use change and habitat loss on biological diversity and ecosystems. The department is also involved in developing methods and approaches for nature monitoring, adaptive management and applied conservation biology. The department is part of NIBIO’s Division of Food Production and Society.

PhD position in statistical ecology

Job description

NIBIO has available a PhD position in statistical ecology. The objective for the PhD project is to developing methods and tools for data integration and modelling of complex ecological interactions in ecosystems. Specifically, the PhD candidate will address questions related to interactions among multiple species and the environment, and how such interactions can be represented in an integrative joint model.

Spatial data and modelling will be an important part of the project, and the candidate will work with database tools that enables efficient management of spatial data and integrates well with tools used for modelling. The institute NIBIO has national responsibilities related to managing and updating land resource maps and databases and these databases constitute an important resource for this PhD project.

The PhD candidate will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Compile data on species occurrence and environmental data to use in the modelling
  • Model the distribution of semi-natural grassland species and their interaction with each other, and explore if indicator species can be identified to represent overall diversity
  • Model interactions between grassland species and pollinators
  • Model dynamics between grassland species and trees
  • Investigate how interactions vary across spatial scales

Scientific qualifications and experience required

To be a candidate for the position, it is required to have a master’s degree (MS/MSc) or equivalent in statistics, numerical ecology or other geo- or biosciences with a strong numerical background.

We are looking for candidates with an interest in applying statistics and quantitative methods on ecological issues, and specifically how species interact with each other and the environment.

Specifically, the candidate should have some or all of the following skills and experiences:

  • A good command of statistical modelling
  • Skills needed to handle spatial data and large data sets 
  • Experience with modelling ecological or spatial processes 
  • Knowledge of community or landscape ecology
  • Knowledge of groups of organisms relevant for the project (e.g. grassland plants and pollinating insects)

The candidate that gets the position will be enrolled in the PhD program at Institute for mathematics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and candidate will be supervised by a team including Professor Bob O’Hara from NTNU and Knut Anders Hovstad from NIBIO. To be a potential candidate for the position, applicants must satisfy the requirement for entering the PhD programme at NTNU; please see The regulations for PhD programmes at NTNU state that a master degree or equivalent with at least five years of studies and an average grade of A or B within a scale of A-E for passing grades (A best) for the last two years of the MSc is required, and C or higher for the BSc.

Candidates must be able to work effectively in English.

Personal qualifications

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Proactive, with good analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Dedication and enthusiasm to work as part of an interdisciplinary research team
  • Curiosity and willingness to work both within the field of statistics and ecology

Salary and benefits

  • The position is remunerated according to Norwegian State Salary Scale, code 1017, salary grade 50-60 (NOK 436.900 - 517.700 per year), commensurate with qualifications and experience.
  • Membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund, which includes a good occupational pension scheme, occupational injury and group life insurance, and low-interest home loans.

General information

  • In accordance with the Norwegian Civil Service equal opportunities policy, qualified candidates are encouraged to apply - regardless of age, gender, functional disabilities or national or ethnic background.
  • We would like to point out that information about applicants may be subject to public disclosure, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (Offentlighetsloven), Section 25. An applicant can request to be exempted from inclusion on a public list of applicants. If the request for confidentiality is denied, the applicant will be notified thereof.

Contact person
Knut Anders Hovstad, Head of Department , phone no (+47) 971 21 414


Please send your application with CV electronically via the link on this page.

The application must include (or submitted as attachments) a letter of interest that addressing the selection criteria above, a short summary (max one page) of the candidate’s master thesis, and transcripts of grades from both BSc and MSc or equivalent degree to document that the candidate meet the formal requirements for the position as stated above.

Other diplomas and letters of recommendation can either be presented if you are invited to an interview, or you can submit them as an attachment along with the electronic application/CV.


If you need assistance, filling in your application or CV on the website, you can call Jobbborge at: +47 75 54 22 20.

Søk stillingen

Om stillingen

  • Søknadsfrist
    20. august 2017
  • Arbeidsgiver
    Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research
  • Nettside
  • Kommune
  • Arbeidssted
    Kvithamar in Stjørdal
  • Jobbnorge-ID
  • Omfang
  • Varighet

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