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postdoctoral fellow for project ‘Evolutionary Convergence in Historical Oceans; The case of whales and ichthyosaurs’ – University of Oslo

Applications are invited for a position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Palaeobiology at the Natural History Museum, University of Oslo. The appointment is for a period of two and a half years, fully paid, with 100% research time.

deadline 30 April 2023

  • Salary NOK 544 400 – 626 300 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (position code 1352)

The postdoctoral fellow will be employed by the Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, and work on the Research Council of Norway funded project “ECHO – Evolutionary Convergence in Historical Oceans; The case of whales and ichthyosaurs”, led by Dr Lene Liebe Delsett.

ECHO investigates the convergent evolution of ichthyosaurs and whales using bone microstructure to explore aspects of palaeobiology and palaeoecology. The role of the postdoctoral fellow will be to develop quantitative approaches for the analysis of bone microstructure data, and integrate with the specialist collaborative team to interpret and publish the results.

The overarching objective of ECHO is to determine to which extent, across different eras and levels of biological organization, the convergent evolution of streamlined marine tetrapods results from similar evolutionary pathways.

ECHO focuses on the key biological processes of metabolism, feeding, locomotion, and reproduction. Bone microstructure data from several skeletal element proxies will be used to map evolutionary changes and to reconstruct ancestral states across parallel trajectories in both groups.

The postdoctoral fellow is expected to gather and analyse 2D and 3D bone microstructure data from fossils and extant cetacean species housed in museum collections, both in Norway and relevant institutions overseas.

The successful candidate will therefore have the possibility to travel for collection visits and conferences. There will also be opportunities for outreach and postgraduate student supervision.

ECHO is a collaborative initiative with the postdoctoral fellow co-supervision involving Dr Benjamin Kear (Uppsala University), and an international team of co-investigators comprising Prof. Alexandra Houssaye (CNRS), Prof. Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan (University of Cape Town), and Dr Nicholas Pyenson (Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History).

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