University of Turku

Project researcher/ Doctoral researcher position in ecology

2023-10-18 (Europe/Helsinki)
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Project researcher/ Doctoral researcher position in ecology – 44 months

PhD subject :  Characterising thermal stress response in passerines: from underlying mechanisms to evolutionary consequences.


The University of Turku is an inspiring and international academic community of 25,000 students and staff in Southwest Finland. We build a sustainable future with multidisciplinary research, education, and collaboration. With us, your work will have a significant impact and relevance in the changing world.


Our ability to quantify and predict the magnitude of environmental global changes effects represents one of the major challenges of the 21st century. These changes are characterised by a gradual increase of ambient temperature through time, but also leading to an increased frequency of climate anomalies, such as heat waves. Habitat urbanisation, in particular, is a key driver of the increase of ambient temperature. The magnitude of such ambient temperature alterations also depends on latitudinal gradients. These temperature changes can drastically modify the phenology of species, their geographic distribution, food webs, interspecific interactions, but also life history trajectories, behaviour and physiology of individuals. Evidence suggests a central role of plasticity and local adaptation in species’ responses to temperature changes. Yet, plasticity will be constrained by environmental gradients, and endotherms capacities to adapt to thermal stress remain poorly understood. In an urbanisation context along a latitudinal gradient, the aim of this project is to evaluate the harmful repercussions of pre and post-natal effects of thermal stress on the physiology of organisms, behaviour and on their life history trajectories (reproduction and survival). Using a multidisciplinary and integrative approach on Great tits, this project aims to assess effects of thermal stress on different molecular and physiological mechanisms (metabolic rates, mitochondrial function, markers of ageing, stress, Hsp expression) by manipulating temperature under common garden conditions, during development and growth period and follow various life history traits such as growth and survival patterns.

This project will take place at the University of Turku, Finland, and the University of Strasbourg France. The PhD candidate will be supervised by Dr Sophie Reichert, Dr Antoine Stier and Dr Suvi Ruuskanen. Starting date: December 2023 or January 2024.

Job description

Main activities will include:

- Conducting experiments on birds in aviaries and in the wild.

- Participating in field work in and around Strasbourg (France), Turku and Jyväskylä (Finland)

- Lab work (ageing markers, stress markers analyses).

- Analysing data and writing publications

- Contributing to the research and social environment of the University of Turku and University of Strasbourg (DEPE-IPHC).


The applicant must have an MSc (or equivalent) in biology/ecology/ecophysiology or related subjects with excellent grades, a passion for studying wild animals in their natural environment, a strong work ethic. Experience with bird handling and/or fieldwork, bird physiology, lab work are highly desirable. This project would require knowledge of statistical analyses and previous experience with R software. A full driver’s license is needed. Strong communication skills, with abilities to speak and write in English.

Desirable qualifications

We are looking for a candidate with a clear capacity to self-organize, and a communicative personality who works team-oriented.

We value equality and diversity in our work community and encourage qualified applicants, regardless of background, to apply for our open positions.

We offer

The duration of the position is 44 months.


The salary for the position is determined in accordance with the university salary system for research personnel. For project researcher salary follows the levels 2-4 of teaching and research staff (2182,19 – 2720,86 EUR/month). In addition, a personal work performance component will be paid. The personal work performance component is 6-50% of the task specific salary component. The starting salary is ca. 2500€.

Trial period

The trial period will be six months.

How to apply

Applications must include a motivation letter in English describing your motivation, research interests and previous relevant experience with respect to the above listed requirements; Curriculum vitae including contacts of two referents; copies of MSc/BSc Diploma certificates.

The application should be submitted no later than Wednesday 18.10.2023 (23:59; UTC+2) at the University's electronic recruitment system at  A link to the application form can be found at the beginning of this notice (‘Apply for the job’).

Further information

For further information about the position, please contact Academy research fellow Sophie Reichert,

Job details

Project researcher/ Doctoral researcher position in ecology
Application deadline
2023-10-18 23:59 (Europe/Helsinki)
2023-10-18 22:59 (CET)
Job type
Save job

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About the employer

The university is a unique, creative and inspirational work environment. Here you will work with top experts, pedagogues and researchers.

Visit the employer page

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