Postdoctoral position in systematics and evolution

Tips från Johannes Bergsten:

A two-year postdoctoral position in Systematics and Evolution is available in the Department of Zoology, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm.

 Project description

“Species-level phylogeny and delimitation in a biodiversity hotspot”

Madagascar is well known for its high level of endemism, basically across every organism group. The combination with severe habitat degradation has “rewarded” the island with a top placement among biodiversity hotspots. The increased evolutionary research interest last twenty years has focused on vertebrates and surprisingly little is yet known about the colonization and speciation history of most insect groups. Using Hydradephagan water beetles as model organisms this project will use dated phylogenetic frameworks to analyze colonization and speciation patterns across replicated endemic radiations and clades with representatives but seemingly without radiations. Intraspecific genetic variation will be sampled to estimate parameters in the multispecies coalescent model as a window into the speciation process. The project also includes evaluation of species delimitation methods on endemic radiations with non-reciprocally monophyletic species in gene-trees.


The position is part of a research project and group (Bergsten Systematic Entomology Lab: at the Swedish Museum of Natural History on the taxonomy, faunistics, phylogeny, colonization, speciation and evolutionary history of Hydradephagan water beetles on Madagascar. The work includes DNA labwork, fieldwork, data analyses, help with supervision of student projects, article- and grant writing. The DNA labwork will be conducted at the Molecular Systematics Laboratory at the Swedish Museum of Natural History.


To be qualified for the postdoctoral position the applicant needs to have a PhD degree (or have a PhD thesis ready with a date fixed within 2014 for thesis defense) in Systematics/Phylogenetics/Evolutionary Biology or similar direction of studies. The PhD degree should have been received no more than six years before the deadline for applications.

Criteria for selection

Among qualified applicants selection is made according to scientific merits, quality of the PhD thesis, personal skills, the applicant´s documented knowledge in subjects of relevance for the research area, ability to master English language (both spoken and written), analytical ability, creativity, initiative, independence, teamwork and ability to cooperate. Previous experience with molecular (DNA) lab work and knowledge of relevant theory and methods (phylogenetic, dating, species delimitation, biogeographic and diversification rate analyses) weigh heavily. Experience with entomological fieldwork, taxonomic work and French language (spoken in Madagascar) are consider as additional qualifications.

Terms of employment

The position is for two years full time. Start of position should be in 2014 but exact date up to negotiation with the successful candidate. The position is financed by a grant from the Swedish Research Council, VR.

For more information, please contact Johannes Bergsten ( Union representative is Bodil Kajrup, SACO-S. Both can be reached at telephone number + 46 8 519 540 00.

To be included in the application

Maximum one A4-page of personal presentation and your reasons for applying (letter of intent). Curriculum vitae with publication list. Copy of three selected publications. Copy of PhD thesis and PhD degree certificate or date of scheduled defense within 2014. Also provide a list of two persons who may act as references (with telephone numbers and e-mail addresses).

Please send your application, marked with dnr 2.3.1-603-2014, to or to Swedish Museum of Natural History, P. O. Box 50007, SE-104 05 Stockholm, Sweden,no later than September 9, 2014.

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