Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 47 000 students and more than 8 800 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Project description
A postdoctoral fellowship position is available to work on a project examining the major evolutionary transitions led by Charlie Cornwallis. The fellow will work with researchers in the molecular ecology and evolution lab and the aquatic ecology group at the Department of Biology, Lund University.

Over evolutionary time there have been several major transitions that have shaped contemporary patterns of organismal complexity. In each of these transitions a group of individuals that previously replicated independently joined together to form a new, more complex life form. For example, unicells joined together to form multicellular bodies, asexual organisms combined to reproduce sexually and individual organisms have foregone independence to live in groups.

The position will focus on understanding what predisposes some species to undergo a major evolutionary transition, with particular focus on predicting why species go from being unicellular to multicellular. The project will use a combination of experimental evolution on target groups (e.g. green algae), and comparative analyses of the independent transitions to multicellularity across the tree of life using genomic, ecological and life-history data. This position will provide the opportunity to explore social evolutionary theory and develop skills in experimental design, bioinformatics, phylogenetic comparative methods and meta-analysis.

The Department of Biology has a number of research units studying a range of ecological and evolutionary topics including aquatic ecology, microbial evolution, speciation, sexual selection, and host-parasite coevolution, and the postdoctoral fellow will be integrated across these different units.

Required qualifications
Applicants must have completed a PhD in Evolutionary or Molecular Biology within three years from application deadline. Candidates should have a keen interest in general evolutionary theory and demonstrate an ability to work both independently and in teams with other researchers, including co-supervising PhD and MSc students.

Experience and skills in the following areas is essential: experimentation using algal and/or other microorganisms, molecular genetic analyses and laboratory work.

Experience and skills in the following areas is desirable: bioinformatics, experimental evolution, linear mixed modeling and phylogenetic comparative analysis. Complementary training will be provided where needed.

Fluent written and spoken English is essential with a strong record of publishing in internationally recognized scientific journals. The scientific aptitude and the ability to develop and carry out high-quality research within the subject area will be given special attention in the assessment of the candidate. Importance will be attached to the potential of the candidate to develop as an independent researcher.

Salary will be set according to the general regulations for postdoctoral positions at Lund University in relation to the number of years research experience and achievements.

The application shall consist of a cover letter explaining the background, research interests of the applicant and motivation for applying to this position, and a CV that includes publications and the contact information for two referees.

Additional Information
For more information and informal discussion about the position candidates can contact Charlie Cornwallis ( For more information see:

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment As soon as possible
Salary Fixed monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2016/2032
  • Charlie Cornwallis, Senior University Lecturer, +46 46- 222 30 26,
  • Tina Olsson, Huamn Resource Officer, +46 46-222 95 62,
Union representative
  • OFR/S:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62,
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds , 046-222 93 64,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66,
Published 27.May.2016
Last application date 15.Aug.2016 11:59 PM CEST

Return to job vacancies