Extended deadline: ForBio course on Marine Non-Indigenous Species

ForBio is organising a course on Marine Non-Indigenous Species, May 21- 25, 2018, at the Drøbak Field Station, a short bus ride south of Oslo. We have extended the deadline for application to April 28th.


The aim of the Marine Non-Indigenous Species is to:

(1) provide theoretical background knowledge about marine non-indigenous species (NIS) including terminology, causes and potential consequences of NIS, the factors influencing translocations and success of colonisations and the potential vectors and the criteria for assessing NIS and

(2) identify the most common NIS / target species in Scandinavian waters using specimens from natual history collections and alive specimens collected around the station. Comparison of NIS and local similar species will be made. Identification cards and fact sheets will be provided.

Theoretical and practical lectures will be accompanied with discussions about the consequences of NIS to native environments, loss/increase of diversity and diseases.

Format: 5 day intensive course with theoretical and practical sessions (40 hours + preparation + final report/assignement- for those aiming to receive a certificate with ECTS)


Vivian Husa, Institute of Marine Research in Norway (IMR), Bergen

Arjan Gittenberger, Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, Leiden / GiMaRIS

Eivind Oug,  Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Oslo

Joann Porter, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburg

Maria Capa, ForBio  & NTNU University Museum, Trondheim


21 May

11.00 Welcome, presentation of the course schedule and logistics

11.15 Introduction (Important definitions, current knowledge of the problem at global scale, criteria for assessing NIS).

12.00 Vectors and factors influencing translocations

12.30 Management and legislation (monitoring programs, Nordic countries vs Europe rest of the world)

13.00 Lunch

14.00 Methods for assessing NIS (DNA barcoding or eDNA/metabarcoding).

14.30 Collecting techniques (eg. HELCOM/OSPAR)

15.00 Collecting along Drøbak & processing of samples. Animals kept alive in marine tanks.

22 May

9.00 Bryozoa . Introduction  (Biodiversity, Systematics, Ecology and Biology). Diagnostic features and terminology.

10.00 Lab work

12.00 NIS in Nordic waters

12.30 Lunch

13.30 Cnidaria & Tunicates. Introduction (Biodiversity, Systematics, Ecology and Biology). Diagnostic features and terminology

14.30 Lab work

16.30 NIS in Nordic waters

23 May

9.00 Mollusca. Introduction (Biodiversity, Systematics, Ecology and Biology). Diagnostic features and terminology

10.00 Lab work

12.00 NIS in Nordic waters

12.30 Lunch

13.30 Annelida. Introduction  (Biodiversity, Systematics, Ecology and Biology). Diagnostic features and terminology

14.30 Lab work

16.30 NIS in Nordic waters

24 May

9.00 Crustacea. Introduction (Biodiversity, Systematics, Ecology and Biology). Diagnostic features and terminology

10.00 Lab work

12.00 NIS in Nordic waters

12.30 Lunch

13.30 Continuation…

25 May

9.00 Algae. Introduction (Biodiversity, Systematics, Ecology and Biology). Diagnostic features and terminology

10.00 Lab work

12.00 NIS in Nordic waters

12.30 Lunch

12.30 Lunch

13.30 Other groups. Diagnostic features of a few species of fish (e.g Neobious…)

14.30  Wrap up, discussion  and conclusions


Maximum number of participants: 20

Course level: PhD students, Master students, researchers and biodiversity consultants.

Previous knowledge required. Taxonomic expertise in at least one of the main groups to be dealt with (Algae, Decapoda, Bryozoa, Molluscs, Annelida…) or a strong background in marine ecology and conservation.

Course materials.  Lab facilities (microscopes, marine tanks, collecting gear) are available at Drøbak Field station. Species determination literature will be provided.  Students are requested to bring their own forceps and dissecting equipment.

Assignment and credits: The course is equivalent to 2 ECTS. ForBio will provide certificates for those successfully complete the course assignment.

Registration: Please fill in the online application here. There is no course fee for ForBio members or associates. The course includes accommodation and meals for ForBio members and associates at the Drøbak Field Station. Travel is covered for ForBio members based at Norwegian institutes.

Find out about how to become a ForBio member here.

Extended application deadline is April 28, 2018.

Contact Maria Capa (maria.capa@ntnu.no) for more information.


Plant.ID 15 PhD positions available

As part of our new EU project, MSCA-ITN Plant.ID on molecular identification of plants, we are now advertising 15 PhD positions in Systematic Botany in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands and Greece through our website. The projects below are included. Please forward to relevant candidates or fora. Application deadline is January 15th for all positions. Read more about the 15 individual PhD projects on www.plantid.uio.no.

PhD 1 – Polyploid phylogenetics under the multi-species coalescent – University of Gothenburg
PhD 2 – Taxon identification and multispecies coalescent biodiversity assessments – University of Oslo
PhD 3 – Euphrasia: species delimitation in mega-diverse hemi-parasites – University of Copenhagen
PhD 4 – Shotgun sequencing for comparative diet analysis in capercaillie fowl – University of Copenhagen
PhD 5 – DNA barcoding and metabarcoding of herbal products for authentication – University of Oslo
PhD 6 – Metabarcoding of aquatic flora for fresh water quality monitoring – BaseClear, Degree Awarding University of Leiden
PhD 7 – Hayfever and software-automated pollen metabarcoding – Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Degree Awarding University of Oslo
PhD 8 – Paleogenomic annotation of historical Cinchona bark samples across time and space – University of Copenhagen
PhD 9 – Genomic barcoding of the succulent plant genus Aloe in trade – Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Degree Awarding University of Copenhagen
PhD 10 – Orchid targets: Genomic barcoding to identify and trace traded orchids – University of Oslo
PhD 11 – Is mutational meltdown a threat in the mega diverse genus Begonia? – Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, Degree Awarding University of Edinburgh
PhD 12 – Genomic barcoding to trace and identify illegally logged African trees – Botanic Garden Meise, Degree Awarding KU Leuven
PhD 13 – Bar-HRM traceability of toxic species in food and medicine – Centre for Research & Technology – Hellas, Degree Awarding Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
PhD 14 – Species, a taxonomic category distinct from the lineage concept – University of Gothenburg
PhD 15 – Logging forensics: mining ebony wood collections as references – Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Degree Awarding University of Leiden

Best, Hugo

Hugo de Boer

Natural History Museum
University of Oslo
P.O. Box 1172 Blindern
0318 Oslo, Norway
Phone: +47 22851875

Plant.ID MSCA-ITN project leader
Leader of ForBio – Research School in Biosystematics
Plant Evolution and DNA Metabarcoding group

Research Director at the Natural History Museum, University of Oslo

The Natural History Museum is looking for a new research director. The
Natural History Museum’s tasks include research, collection
management, teaching and public outreach in the fields of botany,
zoology, palaeontology and geology. The museum has about 150 employees,
organized in 5 sections, and for 2017 had a total budget of 160 million
NOK. Approx. 40 million NOK are related to research projects. The research
section consists of 7 research groups.

The museum is in the middle of an exciting process where a new strategy
is being developed, and action plans and sub-strategies will be
prepared in the coming years. The research director shall have overall
responsibility and the responsibility to follow-up the museum’s research
and education strategy. It is a stated goal that a larger part of the
research will be conducted in cooperation with external partners at
home and abroad. Research in the museum today is focused specifically at
systematic biology, palaeontology and geology. Once the strategy processes
have been completed, there may be a need to adjust today’s organization
chart. The position is with a fixed-term of 6 years, with the possibility
of a second term after public announcement and general competition.

– Lead the research section and be responsible for initiating,
coordinating and developing the museum’s research efforts.
– Motivate and ensure good cooperative relationships internally at the
museum and at UiO elsewhere, nationally and internationally.
– Encourage increased research efforts, increased acquisition of
external funds, increased innovation, and strengthen the international
profile of NHM.
– Be a strategic driver of research at the museum and help develop the
work in these areas.
– Be the deputy director of the museum in matters that include the
museum’s scientific activities.
– Ensure maintenance and strengthening of contacts with the museum’s
partners in the field of research.

We want a strong and clear leader who will contribute with leadership
skills in a strong research environment. The research director reports
to the museum director and is part of the museum’s management team. The
research director has financial and budgetary responsibility and daily
staff responsibility for, among other things, the research group leaders.

– Has excellent leadership skills with experience from similar
activities in the higher education sector and / or the research
sector, which can document previous results.
– Has solid experience in human resource management, and task and
financial management.
– Has skills in strategic and overall thinking.
– Has a PhD or equivalent in a relevant subject.
– Is result-oriented and skilled in implementation.
– Can motivate and inspire its employees
– Is a skilled team player and network developer
– Has a good and relevant network of contacts with research environments
at home and abroad, and broad knowledge of research policy
– Has good communication skills in written and oral in English and a
Scandinavian language.

Individual suitability for the position will be emphasized in the final recruitment.

We offer:
A professionally stimulating working environment.
Salary (position code 1111, Research director): NOK 769 100 – 938 700
per year, depending on qualifications.

Pension agreement with Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund (SPK)
Attractive welfare benefits
The application must be sent via Jobbnorge and contain:
– An application letter
– CV with complete overview of education, experience and professional
work. References should be given.

Application deadline Sept 17, 2017:

Hugo de Boer

Natural History Museum
University of Oslo
P.O. Box 1172 Blindern
0318 Oslo, Norway
Phone: +47 22851875

Leader of ForBio – the Scandinavian Research School in Biosystematics

Universitet i Oslo, Naturhistorisk museum: Seksjonssjef i Botanisk hage

Stillingen som Hagesjef (seksjonsleder stillingskode 1211) i Botanisk hage ved Naturhistorisk museum, Universitetet i Oslo er ledig.

Botanisk hage ligger vakkert til på Tøyen og er en del av Naturhistorisk museum og Universitetet i Oslo. Samlingene i Botanisk hage omfatter over 5 500 plantearter fra ulike deler av verden, og brukes i undervisning, formidling og forskning.  Plantene dyrkes i veksthus og i ulike avdelinger på friland.  Botanisk hage formidler kunnskap om mangfoldet i planteriket og betydningen av at dette mangfoldet bevares.  Planter som er truet eller sårbare i norsk natur tas vare på i Botanisk hage.

Hagesjefen vil lede Seksjon for botanisk hage og ha ansvar for strategisk planlegging, videreutvikling og drift av Botanisk hage. Det er ønskelig med omfattende ledererfaring fra tilsvarende virksomhet.

Seksjonslederen i Botanisk hage inngår i museumsdirektørens ledergruppe og har museumsdirektøren som sin nærmeste overordnede. Det tilligger ikke egen forskning til stillingen.


  • Faglig og administrativ ledelse av Botanisk hage
  • Lede, motivere og inspirere seksjonens medarbeidere
  • Målstyring, økonomioppfølging og personalledelse
  • Overordnet ansvar for hagens vitenskapelige samlinger
  • Tverrfaglige samarbeid med øvrige seksjoner ved NHM
  • Videreutvikle forsknings-, forvaltnings og formidlingsaktiviteten
  • Samarbeide med venneforeningen ”Botanisk hages Venner”
  • Samarbeide med botaniske hager nasjonalt og internasjonalt


  • Høyere utdanning på PhD-nivå. Realkompetanse med relevans for de aktuelle oppgavene kan kompensere utdanningskravet
  • God kompetanse i systematisk botanikk og plantekunnskap
  • Kunnskap om nordisk flora
  • Relevant erfaring med tilsvarende arbeidsoppgaver
  • Omfattende ledererfaring, gjerne fra tilsvarende grupper med både vitenskapelige og tekniske stillinger
  • Solid erfaring fra økonomi- og budsjettarbeid
  • Gode kommunikasjonsevner skriftlig og muntlig på et nordisk språk og engelsk

Personlige egenskaper:

I vurderingen vil søkerens personlige egnethet bli vektlagt. Stillingsinnehaver må være en utpreget lagspiller og samtidig kunne arbeide selvstendig, være initiativrik og systematisk, og ha gode samarbeidsevner. Hagesjefen må kunne motivere og inspirere sine medarbeidere.  Den som tilsettes må kunne representere Botanisk hage og NHM på en god måte. Evne til å prioritere i en hektisk hverdag og samtidig jobbe mot overordnede og langsiktige mål.

Vi tilbyr:

  • Et hyggelig og spennende arbeidsmiljø på et museum i omfattende utvikling
  • Lønn etter lønnstrinn 70 – 78 (kr. 617 800 -743 100 per år avhengig av kompetanse)
  • Medlemskap i Statens Pensjonskasse
  • Stilling i en IA-virksomhet
  • Gode velferdsordninger 

Følgende dokumenter skal lastes opp i den elektroniske søknaden:

  • Søknadsbrev
  • CV med navn og kontaktinformasjon på 2-3 referanser (navn, relasjon, e-post adresse og telefonnummer)

UiO har et personalpolitisk mål om å oppnå en balansert kjønnssammensetning og rekruttere personer med innvandrerbakgrunn.  Kvinner oppfordres til å søke.

UiO har en overtakelsesavtale for alle tilsatte med formål å sikre rettighetene til forskningsresultater m.m.

I henhold til offentlighetslova § 25, 2. ledd kan opplysninger om søkeren bli offentliggjort selv om søkeren har anmodet om ikke å bli oppført på søkerlisten.

  • Søknad: https://uio.easycruit.com/vacancy/1705103/71922?iso=no
  • Søknadsfrist: 23. oktober 2016
  • Referansenummer:
  • 2016/11522

Last chance to apply for two SIU and ForBio courses

SIU and ForBio course: Biodiversity data management and Open data

Nov 2-5, Tartu, Estonia

What are the modern, efficient, mistake-proof ways to collect and manage field and lab data, identifiers, traits, and environmental variables? How can you store your data to easily integrate with external databases?
This hands-on SIU and ForBio course on Biodiversity data management and Open data covers the basics of data collecting, data management, and publishing Open Data.

Last chance to apply, deadline 22 August!


SIU and ForBio course: Polypores as tools in forest conservation

Sep 19-23, Lammi Biological Station, Finland

Polypores are dominant wood decomposers in boreal forests, and the basis of the saprobic wood web. Polypores are used as indicators of high conservation value forests in Nordic countries, and during this course one will learn how to identify polypores and selected corticioid fungi, focusing on indicator species. Also you will be familiarized with the concept of indicator species and indexes in practical use. The course includes lectures and daily field work in different types of forests, including old-growth forests.

Last chance to apply, deadline 22 August!


ForBio course: Phylogenomics – Extended deadline

The ForBio course: Phylogenomics has an extended application deadline: September 1st!

ForBio course: Phylogenomics

Time and place: Nov 14, 2016 – Nov 18, 2016, Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Norway.
Teachers: Torsten Hugo Struck, NHM, UiO and Patrick Kück, NHM London.

Objectives: Advances in high-throughput sequencing and genomics have revolutionized research in evolutionary biology and systematics. The use of genomics data in phylogenetic analyses has brought new challenges in terms of data handling and analysis. This course aims to help those that have basic experience in bioinformatics and molecular phylogenetics, and have projects focused on high-throughput sequencing data and phylogenetics, to become acquainted with tools, programs and pipelines for phylogenomics and want to contact phylogenomic studies beyond the standard also addressing potentially confunding biases in their datasets.

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of command line interaction, regular expressions, UNIX, sequence data and alignments, model-based phylogenetic analyses, model testing, Bayesian inference, is a prerequisite for participation. Pre-course exercises on command line, regex and UNIX will need to done, submitted and passed to ensure that all participants have an equal minimum level at start.

NB: This course consists of two parts, week I (14-18 Nov 2016) and week II (in March or April 2017). We will provide the exact dates as soon as possible. The first week covers the basic foundation of phylogenomic studies. Lectures and labs in week II will build upon this and focus on dissecting the phylogenetic signal in the dataset and detecting possible misleading biases such as long branches and compositional heteroegenities. Strategies for thorough sensitivity analyses in phylogenomic studies will be part of this week.

Maximum number of participants is 26.

Application deadline is September 1, 2016.

For more information and application go to the website: http://www.forbio.uio.no/events/courses/2016/phylogenomics.html

Contact Hugo de Boer (hugo.deboer@nhm.uio.no) or Torsten Hugo Struck (t.h.struck@nhm.uio.no) for more information.
All the best,


GU and ForBio course: Life and Earth History

The evolution of life on Earth is inevitably linked with the geological and climatic history that has dramatically changed available habitats and resources over time. In this course we will explore how geological and paleoclimatic evidence and paleontological and neontological data can be combined to better understand the interplay between Earth history and the evolution and biogeography of organisms. We will provide key concepts about biostratigraphy and fossil preservation and their crucial role in dating events in deep time. We will touch upon several major events of climate changes and landmass dynamics in different part of the world and at different geological times, such as the formation of the Himalayan mountain range, the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM; ~ 55 Ma), and the formation of a land bridge connecting the North and South American continents. A special focus will be given to the effects of these events on local and global biodiversity and its spatial distribution. Further, we will demonstrate computational methods that can help us investigating the dynamics of origination, dispersal, and extinction of organisms using fossil occurrence data. This course will also include practicals providing training in computational (paleo)biology to infer macroevolutionary dynamics and instill or reinforce skills in python and R computing.

Course content
The course includes: 1) formal lectures on earth history and its links to biodiversity dynamics; 2) workshops on the use of computational methods to infer macroevolutionary processes from fossil data with hands-on practicals; 3) visiting the “The history of life and its teeming diversity” exhibition at the Natural History Museum of Gothenburg.

After completion of the course the PhD student will have gained insights on important geological and climatic events that have characterized Earth history and inevitably impacted biodiversity and evolution. They will also have a better understanding of the paleontological and geological evidence that these events left and how they can be used to understand the origin and history of life on Earth, at different geographic and temporal scales. Finally, participants will learn how to setup and carry out macroevolutionary analyses using the software PyRate (https://github.com/dsilvestro/PyRate) to infer origination, extinction and preservation rates from fossil occurrence data.

Required reading
A list of scientific publications required for the course will be distributed among confirmed students two weeks before the start of the course.

Preparation of a short research proposal (powerpoint presentation and two page executive summary) to be presented and submitted 10 days after course completion.

Course teachers
Christine D. Bacon, Carina Hoorn, Carlos Jaramillo, Daniele Silvestro

The University of Gothenburg course plan can be found here.

Application deadline is August 12th, 2016. Apply here. Plan to book travel arrangements that weekend.

A 1.5 ECTS course certificate will be given to students that pass the course, either by GU or ForBio depending on registration.

Contact the course leaders Daniele Silvestro or Christine D. Bacon, or ForBio leader Hugo de Boer for more information.

Research School in Biosystematics – ForBio: course overview

The Research School in Biosystematics – ForBio is organising a number of relevant courses in the summer and autumn this year, and we invite you to apply to these courses, or forward this overview to interested colleagues for further dissemination to students and postdocs.

Looking forward to seeing you at our courses! Hugo – ForBio

Transmitting Science and ForBio course: Introduction to Electron Microscopy for Life Sciences
Time and place: Jul 5, 2016 09:00 AM – Jul 8, 2016 06:00 PM, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Barcelona (Spain).

SIU and ForBio course: Dead Wood Course
Time and place: Aug 8, 2016 – Aug 11, 2016, Lammi Biological Station, Finland

ForBio and STIRs course: DNA barcoding – from theory to applications
Time and place: Aug 22, 2016 – Aug 26, 2016, Zoology building, Medicinaregatan 18, Gothenburg

ForBio course: Marine Annelids in the Norwegian Sea
Time and place: Sep 4, 2016 – Sep 10, 2016, NTNU, Sletvik Field Station , Norway

SIU and ForBio course: Polypores as tools in forest conservation
Time and place: Sep 19, 2016 – Sep 23, 2016, Lammi Biological Station, Finland

ForBio and UiO: Mycology field course
Time and place: Sep 26, 2016 – Sep 30, 2016, Biological Station Drøbak, Norway

ForBio course: Introduction to Bioinformatics for Biosystematics
Time and place: Oct 3, 2016 – Oct 7, 2016, Biological Station Drøbak, Norway

DEST and ForBio course: Philosophy of Biological Systematics
Time and place: Oct 10, 2016 – Oct 14, 2016, Biological Station Drøbak

DEST and ForBio course: Basics of Taxonomy – describing, illustrating and communicating biodiversity
Time and place: Oct 10, 2016 09:00 AM – Oct 21, 2016 06:00 PM, Zoology house, Medicinaregatan 18, Gothenburg, Sweden

ForBio course: Species Concepts and Species Delimitation
Time and place: Oct 24, 2016 – Oct 28, 2016, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway

SIU and ForBio course: Biodiversity data management and open data
Time and place: Oct 31, 2016 – Nov 4, 2016, Tartu, Estonia

ForBio course: Phylogenomics
Time and place: Nov 14, 2016 09:00 AM – Nov 18, 2016 05:00 PM, Natural History Museum, University of Oslo

ForBio course: Species Concepts and Species Delimitation

The Research School in Biosystematics – ForBio invites you to:

ForBio course: Species Concepts and Species Delimitation

Time and place: Oct 24, 2016 – Oct 28, 2016, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway
Teachers: Kevin de Queiroz, Smithsonian Institution, Washington; Joan Pons, Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA), Balearic Islands, Paschalia Kapli, Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies

Course content
What is a species? Are they real entities we can define and diagnose? In this course you will learn about philosophical, conceptual, theoretical and practical issues around species concepts and the implication of their different definitions in ecological and conservation studies. Species boundaries in many organism groups are still in a state of flux, and for empirical species delimitation, finding appropriate character sets and analytical tools are among the greatest challenges. We will review the advantages and disadvantages of different types of data for species assessment and you will be introduced to the different methods for species delimitation based on DNA sequence data and interpretation of results. Students will gain hands-on-experience about distance and tree based methods for species delimitation, including the use of software such as CROP, ABGD, UCLUST, PTP, GMYC and BPP. We will generate stimulating discussion about the interpretation of results and the advantages and limitations of these methods.

Learning targets
• Understanding the implications of the different species concepts
• Pros and cons of different types of data for species assessments
• Gain an overview of different methods for species delimitation using DNA sequence data, and their advantages and limitations.
• Hands-on experience with distance and tree based approaches.

Credits: 3 ECTS
Level: PhD students, postdocs and researchers – with experience in phylogenetic analyses.
Participants: Maximum number of participants is 18.
Registration: http://www.forbio.uio.no/events/courses/2016/Species%20delimitation
Application deadline: October 1, 2016

ForBio/Hugo and Maria

University of Gothenburg and ForBio workshop: Target capture for NGS sequencing

The Research School in Biosystematics – ForBio invites you to the University of Gothenburg and ForBio workshop: Target capture for NGS sequencing

This workshop will cover the methodology currently in use for generating DNA sequence data from multiple loci and individuals. It will cover all steps from design of probes to phasing of alleles. Emphasis will be put on basic understanding of the whole procedure, which pitfalls there may be, and demonstration of the use of software for different assembly, mapping, and phasing steps.

The format of this course requires students to have the specific objective of using these methods in their research, and students with PhD projects that include target capture will be prioritized.

Course teachers are: Isabel Liberal, Tobias Hofmann, Mats Töpel, Patrik Cangren
Credits: A 2 ECTS course certificate will be given to students that pass the course, either by GU or ForBio depending on their registration.
Time and place: Mar 21, 2016 – Mar 24, 2016, Botanhuset, Göteborg
Application deadline: March 1, 2016.
Information and registration: http://www.forbio.uio.no/events/courses/2016/target_capture.html

Contact Bengt Oxelman (bengt.oxelman@bioenv.gu.se) or Hugo de Boer (hugo.deboer@nhm.uio.no) for more information.

All the best,