The project will build on previous work from MINA, documenting arthropod communities at Chernobyl. The group has a collection of insects and arthropods from the Chernobyl exclusion zone and other sites in Ukraine, and has analyzed radiocaesium in different functional groups (detrivores, herbivores, predators, etc).
The PhD student’s tasks will include:
- Fieldwork studies to supplement previous campaigns, with a particular focus on the role of arthropods in deadwood decomposition
- Carry out wood transplant experiments between different radiation zones in Chernobyl to test the effect of arthropod communities and radiation exposure on the decomposition process
- Analysis of samples for radionuclide concentrations
- Stable element and isotope analysis to establish tropic level (N, C isotopes).
- Collaboration with radioecologists studying the transfer of radionuclides in aquatic and terrestrial food chains, to identify the role of insects in radionuclide transfer.
The successful candidate is expected to enter a plan for the progress of the work towards a PhD degree during the first months of the appointment, with a view to completing a doctorate within the PhD scholarship period.
Qualification requirements, desired experiences, knowledge and personal qualities:
The successful applicant must meet the conditions defined for admission to a PhD programme at NMBU. The applicant must have an academically relevant education corresponding to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are at master's degree level. The applicant must have a documented strong academic background from previous studies and be able to document proficiency in both written and oral English. For more detailed information on the admission criteria please see the PhD Regulations and the relevant PhD programme description.
The applicant must document expertise and interest in the research subject.
Required Academic qualifications
- A background in either ecology or radioecology
- Ability to perform extensive lab- and field work and statistical analyses
- Basic knowledge in insect taxonomy and a background in insect or forest ecology
- Experience within nutrient or element transfer in ecosystems.
- Fieldwork experience, working with stable isotopes and laboratory skills
- Experience of working with radionuclides
- Expertise in R or other statistical tools
- Strong scientific capacity and analytical skills
- Enthusiasm and creativity in research
- Good social and collaboration skills and ability to work independently
- Ability to work in a result-oriented environment
- Flexibility with respect to work tasks
- Good capabilities in English, both orally and in writing
- Creativity and ability to find solutions to practical problems
A driving license would be an advantage. The candidate will be expected to complete courses given at MINA to provide the authorisation to work with ionising radiation within six months of accepting the position.