Thursday, November 15, 2018

Global Taxonomy Initiative Forum

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The Global Taxonomy Initiative Forum will take place on 16 November immediately before the opening day of the UN Conference on Biodiversity in Egypt. 

The provisional agenda is accessible at and the notification to Parties and observers on this event can be found at

The Forum will be captured and shared via video streaming on the CBD Facebook and other social media. It will feature several talks on DNA barcoding and taxonomy capacity building.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Professor/Associate Professor in Zoology (marine invertebrates) at Tromsø University Museum

Tromsø University Museum, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway, has a permanent position vacant as Professor/Associate professor in Zoology (marine invertebrates). The position is attached to the Department of Natural Sciences.
Further information about the position is available by contacting the Head of Department Torbjørn Alm or Museum Director Lena Aarekol.

The position’s affiliation
Tromsø University Museum has two academic departments, the Department of Cultural Sciences and the Department of Natural Sciences, with the additional units Polar Museum, MS Polstjerna and Tromsø Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden. This position is at the Department of Natural Sciences, which is responsible for developing and maintaining scientific collections of natural objects (animals, plants, fossils and minerals) as well as public outreach, including the Tromsø Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden. The Department has a permanent staff of 16, of which eight are in academic positions. At the moment, five PhD students, one post doc and two researchers are affiliated with the Department.

The Department is involved in research within the fields of ancient DNA, barcoding, taxonomy, phylogeography, ecology, palaeontology and biodiversity. The main focus is on northern Norway and the Arctic. The Department has well-established laboratory facilities for modern and ancient molecular biology, palynology, and palaeontology. For more information about the Tromsø University Museum’s activities, visit: .

The position’s field of research/field of work
Tromsø University Museum has a long tradition in research on various marine invertebrates. The successful applicant for the position is expected to carry out research in any taxonomic group of marine invertebrates. Relevant groups are those living in our preferred target region – along the coast of northern Norway and the Arctic. Applicants may focus their research in one or more of the fields biosystematics, biogeography, biodiversity, ecology and molecular genetics.

The position’s duties include research and research-based activities, collection management, dissemination and administration. We also encourage the teaching and supervision of Master and PhD students. This position will include responsibility for the marine invertebrate collections, both within and outside her/his own research field, and curation of other collections within zoology is expected.

The appointee is expected to participate actively in a broad range of museum outreach activities, such as public communications, media interactions and exhibitions. The appointee is furthermore expected to collaborate and seek collaboration within the institution as well as nationally and internationally. She/he is expected to be active in applying for external research funding.

Qualification requirements
The successful candidate is internationally recognized within the field, with scientific merits beyond doctoral level. Research experience within biosystematics/taxonomy of a relevant taxonomic group is required. Experience in museum work, especially scientific collections, is a further asset. A successful track record in applying for external funding and/or a high potential for external funding will be given emphasis when evaluating applicants. Personal suitability will also be evaluated.

For a position as associate professor, you should have a good publication record in terms of papers in peer-reviewed journals and other relevant international publication channels. Documented external funding, experience with research leadership and relevant collaboration with industry will be rated positively. As an associate professor, we expect you to aim at developing yourself further to a full professor.

For a position as professor, you should demonstrate international experience and have a strong publication record in terms of papers in peer-reviewed journals and other relevant international publication channels. You should document the ability to obtain external funding from relevant sources, and be able to initiate and lead research at a high international level. We will also assess outreach, network and teaching and supervision activities.

Applicants should submit a covering letter describing their interest in the position, including, but not restricted to, experience with natural history collections, the development of the zoological collection and future research plans.
The applicants must be able to document teaching qualifications in the form of university-level teaching seminars, other teaching education or through having developed a teaching portfolio. Alternatively, after carrying out an assessment of the applicant’s practical teaching skills, the committee may determine that this may be regarded as of equal value to formal teaching qualifications. For further information about requirements for teaching qualifications, refer to the website about Teaching Portfolios.

Applicants should have a good command of one of the Scandinavian languages and English. Applicants who do not have a good command of a Scandinavian language must be willing to learn Norwegian within a reasonable time period.

Working conditions
At UiT The Arctic University of Norway the allocation of working hours shall be flexible and allocated on a case by case basis.

As a general principle, every Professor and Associate Professor shall spend an equal amount of time on teaching and research and development work, after time spent on other duties has been deducted. As a norm the time resources spent on administrative duties constitutes 5 % for academic staff in this category of position.

Employees in permanent positions as Associate Professor have the right to apply for a paid sabbatical (research and development), cf. Guidelines for the allocation of R&D sabbatical (Only in Norwegian)

Moreover, applicants shall refer to the Guidelines for allocation of working hours in teaching and research positions (Only in Norwegian)

The successful applicant must be willing to engage himself/herself in the ongoing development of his/her discipline and the university as a whole.

The remuneration
The remuneration of a Professor is in accordance with the State salary scale code 1013 and for an Associate professor code 1011. A compulsory contribution of 2 % to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted.

An expert committee will assess the applicants. The applicants who are assessed as the best qualified, will be called to an interview. The interview shall among other things aim to clarify the applicant’s personal suitability for the position. A trial lecture may also be held.

For the professor position, it is particularly important that the applicant can document academic activity at a high level over the previous six years in a way that points towards to the continuation of such activity in the future.

Applicants bring original certificates/diplomas and reference letter (work) to a interview.

Interim appointment 
If there are no applicants who are clearly qualified for permanent appointment, a temporary appointment for a period of no more than three years may be made, cf. statsansatteloven § 9 and Section 6-5 (1) of the Act relating to universities and university colleges. A permanent appointment shall be made upon application before the three-year period elapses on the basis of a new evaluation. The appointment will become permanent if the applicant is found to be suitably qualified.

In the event of an interim appointment on the basis of lacking teaching qualifications, the applicant must document teaching qualifications through developing a teaching portfolio before the three-year period elapses. The appointment will become permanent in the event that the applicant is found to be suitably qualified.

Gender balance 
Women are encouraged to apply. UiT The Arctic University of Norway wishes to increase the proportion of females in senior research positions. In the event that two or more applicants are found to be approximately equally qualified, female applicants will be given priority.

Submit your application in
The application documents (mentioned below) must be enclosed in Jobbnorge within the expiration of the application deadline. Documents to be considered must be certified and translated into Scandinavian or English.

The application must include:
  • Letter of application
  • CV (containing a complete overview of education, supervised professional training and professional work)
  • Certified copies of diplomas and reference letter
  • References with contact information
  • Documentation of English language proficiency
  • Teaching portfolio
  • Form for documentation of teaching qualifications (if you do not have a teaching portfolio)
  • List of works and description of these
The list of works shall contain the following information:
  • author(s), the work’s title
  • for articles: the journal’s name and volume, the first and last page of the article, year of publication
  • for publications: publisher, printer, year of publication, number of pages

Works- The applicant have to submit up to 10 works that are central to his/her production. Doctoral thesis is in this context regarded as one work.

In addition, the applicant shall provide a description of his/her scientific production stating which works he/she considers the most important and shall therefore be the main emphasis of the assessment. A brief description of the other listed works shall also be included to demonstrate depth of production. These descriptions shall be an attachment to the application.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

My metabarcoding online course starts soon!

We're going into another round of the Metabarcoding Course I developed a few years back. I just finished updating its modules especially given how fast the field develops.

Date: November 12, 2018 to December 09, 2018

This 4-week, web-based course will provide an overview of the state of current technology and the various platforms used. The course consists of a series of online lectures, readings, videos, and research exercises introducing different aspects of metabarcoding and environmental DNA research. We will also touch on the suite of bioinformatics tools available for sequence analysis and data interpretation.

We tried to cover as much as possible given the online format and the limited time participants usually have available to do such training. The course is designed for four weekly instructional hours. 

If you are interested and sign up quickly (by end of the week) you would be eligible for a $100 early bird discount :-)

Special discount $100 (code: DNA2018)

Friday, October 5, 2018

From the inbox: Postdoctoral Researcher and PhD Positions at University of Oulu

The University of Oulu is an international scientific community, with 14,000 students and approximately 3,000 employees. The strengths of the University are wide multidisciplinary study/research interests and modern research and study environment, as well as good cooperation with international educational and research institutes. More information.

The following full-time jobs are open in the Insect Genomic Systematics Group at the University of Oulu, Finland:

1.     Postdoctoral Researcher
2.     PhD student

Project description: Taxonomy, and its central concept ‘species’ in particular, underpin all biological research and are important in numerous other ways for humanity. Despite its crucial role, taxonomy has long been suffering from a complication termed the ‘taxonomic impediment’. At the core of this impediment has been our inability to efficiently document the vast biodiversity of Earth with the available resources and methods. At the same time, the majority of Earth’s biodiversity awaits discovery. Emergent new and powerful methods in DNA sequencing technology have enabled the acquisition of breathtaking amounts of genomic data from organisms in straightforward and fast ways. In this project, genomic methods, particularly anchored hybrid enrichment (AHE), will be applied to develop novel approaches to define species boundaries under different evolutionary circumstances and with taxonomically challenging groups of species. The aim is to point the way ahead towards an entirely DNA-based taxonomy, and fostering the integration of taxonomic principles and practices into the genomic era. The primary model taxa will be Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and, to a lesser extent, Symphyta (sawflies). Sympatric, allopatric, parapatric, and asexual taxa will be considered, because the geographic relationship between species and mode of reproduction have great theoretical and practical effects on species delimitation. Influence of sexual pheromones, chromosomal re-arrangements, ecological differentiation and gene flow on species delimitation will also be considered. The research will be conducted with extensive national and international collaboration. The project is financed by Academy of Finland. Principal Investigator of the project is Marko Mutanen (University of Oulu, Finland).

Duties: The postdoctoral researcher will participate in material collection (incl. fieldwork), laboratory analyses, data analyses (incl. bioinformatics), manuscript preparation and supervision of the PhD student. She/he is also expected to teach at the department at most 5 % of working time. While studies will be conducted in a team, capability for independent working is expected. The PhD student will participate in 3 – 4 separate research studies. She/he will participate and is expected to gain good skills in fieldwork, laboratory analyses, data analyses, bioinformatics and scientific writing. She/he will be a leading author in at least two research papers. She/he will be supervised by the team leader and other senior core team members.

Qualification and selection criteria: The postdoctoral researcher must have a PhD in evolutionary biology, ecology, genetics or related area. The PhD degree must have been reached before the start of the contract. The postdoctoral researcher is expected to be highly motivated, committed to the project, and to have excellent English communication (writing and speaking) skills. Previous experience and knowledge of the study organisms, taxonomy, systematics, phylogenetics, genomic methods or bioinformatics is considered as an advantage. The PhD student must reach the MSc degree in biology (or similar) before the start of the contract. She/he is highly motivated and committed to finish her/his PhD studies during the funding period, and has good English communication skills. All above-mentioned experience and relevant skills are considered as an advantage.

Duration and terms of employment: The postdoctoral researcher: The earliest possible starting date is 1st of January, 2019. Optimally, the position is filled not later than 1st of March, 2019. The duration of the contract is 3 years (a short continuation to this is possible). The salary will be based on the levels 5 – 6 of the demand level chart for teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 46.3 % of the job-specific component). The gross salary will be 3,100 – 3,600 euros/month. The PhD student will start earliest on 1st of January 2019, and not later than 1st of March 2019. The maximal duration is 3 years and 8 months. The last possible end date of the contract is 31st August 2022, so the delayed start will shorten the funding period. The salary will be based on the levels 2 – 4 of the demand level chart for teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 46.3 % of the job-specific component). The gross salary will be about 2,300 – 2,500 euros/month. The six-month trial periods are applied in the beginning of employments. Healthcare is provided by the employer.

Inquiries: For further information, please contact Marko Mutanen (phone: +358 40 824 6749).

How to apply: Submit your application online latest on Thursday 1st of November 2018 at 24:00 (EET). The application must be submitted using the electronic application form with the following documents:
(1)   Motivation letter where the reasons for interest in this position are clearly indicated (max. 1 page). In the motivation letter, indicate clearly which position (PhD student or postdoctoral researcher) you apply.
(2)   CV formatted according to the guidelines of the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK)
(3)   List of publications formatted according to the guidelines of the Academy of Finland 
(4)   Contact information of at least two referees (recommended but not mandatory) and copy of the MSc or PhD degree as applicable.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Heineken Prize for Paul Hebert

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences has awarded the 2018 Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences to Paul Hebert. Here the official announcement text plus a nice little video:

A catalogue for the library of life

Paul Hebert is receiving the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences for his pivotal contribution to developing a genetic barcode capable of classifying every biological species on Earth. 

Paul Hebert is known as the 'father of DNA barcoding', a taxonomic method that uses a short section of DNA from a standardised region of the genome to identify different species, in the same way a supermarket scanner uses barcodes to identify purchases. 

Hebert first raised the possibility of such a method in 2000. He is now the Scientific Director of the International Barcode of Life Project (iBOL), in which researchers from 25 countries are attempting to assign barcodes to millions of species on Earth. 

The project has demonstrated that DNA barcoding can speed the discovery of new species and distinguish between separate species that used to be classified as one. Thanks to DNA barcoding, we now have a more precise way of measuring the number of species that inhabit a specific ecosystem and we can analyse complex food chains with much greater accuracy. 

The Barcode of Life Project is generating an impressive stream of data. Hebert’s research group is building digital systems to gather, store and analyse all this information and make it available to the community. The database now contains the genetic codes of approximately 600,000 species and is being used by almost 25,000 researchers worldwide. 

New methods are bringing the ultimate goal of the project ever closer: a comprehensive inventory of global biodiversity. If the project succeeds, its legacy will yield lasting benefits to humankind.

Yesterday was the official ceremony at the Royal Academy of Arts and Science of the Netherlands - time to congratulate Paul once again for receiving such a prestigious prize. Well deserved!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

From the inbox: Eurytemora conference 2019

Dear colleagues

We are going to organize a conference on Eurytemora in Saint Petersburg.  We are planning to meet in spring (May 2019). It is the nicest season to visit SPb: good weather and not too much tourists. The conference will be held in the building of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences situated in the very heart of SPb just opposite of the famous Hermitage museum.

Preliminary topic of our conference is: Use of molecular-genetic and morphological methods in taxonomy, phylogeny, biogeography and ecology of Eurytemora species. All oral presentations will be splitted in four sections mentioned in the conference title.

Among inviting speakers we are waiting Prof. Victor Alekseev (ZIN RAS), Prof. Carol Eunmi Lee (Wisconsin–MadisonUniv.), Prof. Sami Souissi (Lille1 Univ.) and some others. We are planning to publish proceedings of our conference as a special volume of an international journal. The conference should be not expensive for participants especially for students and young scientists. Your help in distribution of the information about our conference so far will be very much appreciated.

If the suggestion is interesting for you, please contact us until the first of December.


Organizing committee
Kochanova Elena - Executive Secretary
Natalia Sukhikh - The chairmen of the local organizing comity

Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Universitetskaya emb., 1, St.-Petersburg, 199034, Russia
(++7 812) 328-03-11

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Researcher in Environmental DNA (eDNA), Aarhus University

Researcher in Environmental DNA (eDNA), Aarhus University, Campus Roskilde, Denmark 1003793

The Department of Environmental Science at Aarhus University, Roskilde, Denmark invites applications for a four year researcher position in environmental DNA (eDNA) to strengthen and expand the research capability, and the science-based policy advisory activities at the department. The position is to be filled as soon as possible, subject to negotiation. 

The Department of Environmental Science 
The Department of Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary department under the Faculty of Science & Technology at Aarhus University. The expertise ranges from physics, chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology and mathematical modelling to social science, geography, economics and policy analysis. Both basic and applied research is conducted on some of the major challenges facing society, such as pollution and biodegradation, management of land, soil, water, air and biodiversity, protection of ecosystem services, climate change, and energy systems. Science-based policy advice within these areas is offered to ministries and other stakeholders. Currently, about 160 staff and PhD-students are working at the department. Further information can be found at

The selected candidate will be affiliated with the Section for Environmental Microbiology & Biotechnology and should contribute to the section's scientific environment. The section conducts research and science-based policy advise targeted towards the understanding of the fate and role of individual microorganisms in ecosystems and interactions between bacteria, vira, fungi, protozoa and microeukaryotes, especially in the terrestrial environment but also in aquatic and atmospheric environment and in mammal guts. Expertise within the section includes:

• Microbiology in air, soil, ice, rhizosphere, and animal gut 
• Microbial and microeukaryotic genetics and diversity 
• Microbial and protist ecology 
• Bacteriophages 
• eDNA analysis and use in environmental monitoring 
• Antibiotic resistance and pathogenicity 
• Biodegradation of persistent organic pollutants
• Plant-microbial interactions

Description of the position 
The selected candidate is expected to: 
• Contribute to ongoing research projects in eDNA for environmental monitoring with environmental genetics and bioinformatics and the establishment of this research area within the department.
• Further develop and consolidate the research area of environmental DNA of microbial eukaryotes in terrestrial environments within the department.
• Contribute to science-based policy advisory activities in the area of eDNA for environmental monitoring of terrestrial, aquatic and other relevant environments. This is foreseen to be in collaboration with Department of Bioscience as well as other departments at the faculty of Science and Technology within the ST center of eDNA for environmental monitoring ( in order to unfold the major potential for integrating eDNA in environmental monitoring. 
• Actively contribute to attraction of external funding together with senior staff and also as PI. 
• The main responsibilities are research (including publication/academic dissemination duties) and science-based policy advisory activities.

Qualification requirements
• The position requires a background with skills of genetic analysis and bioinformatics as well as understanding of ecology; e.g. molecular biology and ecology, biotechnology, or microbial ecology supplemented with acquired competences of bioinformatics analysis. 
• Documented experience with bioinformatics and statistical analysis of eDNA data is required.
• Documented experience with analysis of eDNA, both at the molecular level including Next Generation Sequencing of metagenome and metatranscriptome as well as amplicon sequencing of targeted organisms.
• Applicants should as a minimum hold scientific qualifications equivalent to the PhD graduate level showing evidence of a strong and ambitious research oriented profile and an emerging publication record within eDNA research. 
• Experience from participation in applications for external funding as well as participation in international collaboration is required.
• It will be a benefit if the applicant is or will be able to apply for an ERC Starting Grant during the 4 year employment.
• Applicants should have excellent written and oral communication skills in English. 
• The candidate is expected to be enthusiastic about working in an interdisciplinary academic environment. 
The position, therefore, requires a highly motivated scientist who is comfortable working in teams.

We speak English on a daily basis at the department. However, to be able to conduct tasks related to policy advice, and to participate in administrative/social activities, it will be in the interest of an international candidate to be able to communicate in Danish. Foreign candidates are, therefore, expected to learn Danish. 

Work location
The place of work will be at Aarhus University, Campus Risø outside Roskilde, Denmark. Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde. The city of Roskilde ( is located 35 km from Copenhagen. 

Further information 
Further information may be obtained by contacting Deputy Head of Department Dr. Anne Winding; +45 8715 8615 or Head of Section, Professor Lars H Hansen; +45 8715 8588.

The area provides immediate access to a wealth of cultural and recreational pursuits. International candidates may find information concerning living and working in Denmark at AU International Center offers a full range of services to make your transition to Denmark as smooth as possible (, and the department will assist foreign candidates with finding a suitable place to live. 

Application procedure 
Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the assessment committee if necessary, the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. The selection is made on the basis of an assessment of who of the candidates are most relevant considering the requirements of the advertisement. All applicants will be notified within 6 weeks whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee and will receive his/her assessment. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants, including the main considerations emphasized during the selection process. 

Formalities and salary range 

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities. (in Danish)

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers Relocation service to International researchers. You can read more about it here.