Postdoctoral fellowship on modelling of marine nitrogen fixation: Denmark

A two-year postdoctoral fellowship on marine nitrogen fixation and its regulation is available from 1 December 2018 in the Marine Biological Section within the Department of Biology at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. The fellowship is funded equally by the Danish Council for independent research and the Centre for Ocean Life (Villum Kann Rasmussen Centre of Excellence). The project will be based in the research group of Prof. Lasse Riemann  in the Marine Biological Section, located in Helsingør, 40 km north of Copenhagen, but will be co-supervised by Prof. Ken H. Andersen, DTU AQUA, National Institute of Aquatic Resources and it is expected that parts of the project will be carried out in the Centre for Ocean Life, located in Lyngby just north of Copenhagen. Moreover, the project is a collaboration with Prof. Mick Follows at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA  and a ca. 6 months research visit to the lab of Prof. Follows will be scheduled.

The successful applicant will have experience and interest in modelling of marine processes and biogeochemistry. Insight into marine microbiology will be considered an asset.

Project Overview

Nitrogen (N) is the second most abundant element in living organisms, but although its most common form, N2 gas, is found at high concentration in seawater it can only be used by specialized microorganisms capable of converting dissolved N2 into “fixed” N available for growth. N limits biological production in vast areas of the global ocean and is therefore tightly linked to the fixation of atmospheric CO2 and export of carbon (C) from the ocean’s surface. In some regions N2 fixation is fuelling up to 50% of the local photosynthesis. Hence, understanding of N2 fixation and the ecology of the organisms carrying out this process is needed to quantify and predict N and C cycling in marine waters. The current paradigm is that cyanobacteria are the only important N2 fixers in marine waters. However, recent studies indicate that non-cyanobacteria may also be important, but their ecology remains largely elusive.

The work will involve modelling of N2 fixation by non-cyanobacteria and cyanobacteria, its regulation and impact using a trait-based modelling approach. It may be carried out at the organismal level and/or at the system level. A detailed plan of action will be developed collaboratively by the supervisors and the fellow.


  • PhD in biology
  • documented experience with development and implementation of ecological models
  • an interest in marine ecology and microbiology
  • creativity and ability to be both team-oriented and independent
  • embrace an international research environment and interdisciplinary research
  • a proven record of excellent English speaking, reading and writing skills

Procedures and shortlisting

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointment Committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether an expert committee will assess their application. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee and each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him-/herself. The Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee, will make the final selection of the successful candidate.

Place of employment and principal place of work

University of Copenhagen, Department of Biology, Marine Biological Section, Strandpromenaden 5, DK-3000 Helsingør.

Terms of employment

The successful candidate will be offered a full-time position for a period of two years, contingent on a satisfactory performance, with the specific intent that it results in production of scientific publications. The position is from 1 December 2018, but exact starting time can be negotiated.

Terms of appointment and payment according to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. While negotiation for salary supplement is possible, the minimum salary is 357,851.28 DKK/year including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 61,192.57).

Further information can be obtained from Prof. Lasse Riemann ( .

Further details
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