Application deadline: March 1, 2021

We are looking for a highly motivated post doctor on stipend for Dr. Maria E. Eriksson’s research group. The applicant should have a strong background in bioinformatics with interest in the fields of light reception, circadian biology and plant growth.

The postdoctoral fellowship is going to be placed at the Department of Plant Physiology, Umeå University, which is part of Umeå Plant Science Centre, Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC) is one of the strongest research environments for basic plant research in Europe. Research at UPSC covers a wide range of disciplines in plant biology including ecology, genetics, physiology, biochemistry, cell biology and molecular biology. Our common goal is to understand plants ability to adapt and acclimate to a changing world.

Project description

The circadian clock is an important, internal task master that is set to local time by regular changes in day/night and high/low temperature and anticipates regular changes in the environment to optimize plants’ growth. Hence, the circadian clock control fitness and biomass production both in a daily and seasonal context both in herbs and trees (Singh et al., 2020, Tree Physiology, tpaa065).

Wood formation is a major carbon sink. Starch in sink tissues peaks at midday and starch reserves are depleted at dawn. Hence, availability of metabolic sugars as products of photosynthesis and starch degradation in wood-forming tissue is expected to determine rhythmicity of cell wall synthesis, expansion and division.

In contrast to annual and perennial angiosperm species such as Arabidopsis and poplar that show strongly rhythmic gene expression, the spruce clock has been reported to rapidly lose rhythmicity under constant light conditions. While timing of chlorophyll biosynthesis is important as a source of carbohydrates and therefore for biomass production. Norway spruce show altered patterns of regulation by light and extent of clock regulation of such processes. However, a recent analysis of Norway spruce (Picea abies, Jokipii-Lukkari et al., 2017, New Phytol, 216, 482-494) support that circadian clock components would act in growth and wood development also of gymnosperms. The main objective of this project is to further explore diurnal and circadian gene regulation involved in growth processes deciding biomass and productivity in this economically important species.

The applicant will use bioinformatics and image analyses combined with biochemical data with respect to temporal and spatial gene expression from Norway spruce clones, Further, to extend tools for exploring diurnal and circadian regulation in Norway spruce the applicant is expected to set up, analyse and develop expression data base resources for Norway spruce clones and to integrate them with available genomic resources at UPSC.

The stipend is granted for 2 years with start as soon as possible or by agreement. The tax-free stipend is financed by the Kempe foundation and amounts to 288 000 SEK per year.


To be eligible for this fellowship you should have a PhD in Plant Cell and Molecular Biology, Plant Biotechnology, Systems Biology or a comparable subject. A person who has been awarded a doctorate or a foreign qualification deemed to be the equivalent of a doctorate qualifies as a postdoctoral fellow. Priority should be given to candidates who have completed their doctoral degree no more than three years before the closing date of the application. A candidate who has completed their degree prior to this may be considered if special circumstances exist. Special circumstances include absence due to illness, parental leave or clinical practice, appointments of trust in trade unions or similar circumstances.

The candidate should have a strong theoretical and practical background in bioinformatic analyses of biological data. Experience of time series data analysis skills is a merit.

The applicants practical experience should ideally comprise:

  • Molecular biology techniques for cloning
  • Transformation of bacteria and plants
  • Time series analyses of plant gene expression through reporter genes
  • Experimental experience of large-scale DNA and/or RNA-sequencing
  • Bioinformatic analyses of of RNA sequencing data, such as time series
  • RT‐qPCR gene expression studies
  • Expression and analysis of epitope-tagged proteins
  • Western blot analysis

You need to be independent and possess a good ability to co-operate, as well as highly motivated and interested in the development of the project. You should be able to discuss and write scientific articles in English, and a good command of written and spoken English is required.


The application should contain:

  1. A personal letter that describes qualifications, research interests, and motivation for the application,
  2. CV with full publication list,
  3. Copies of doctoral degree certificate and other relevant degree certificates and grades,
  4. Copy of doctoral thesis,
  5. Contact information of two referees,
  6. Other documents wished to be claimed.

Submit your application as a PDF marked with the reference number FS 2.1.6-139-21, both in the file name and in the subject field of the email, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The application can be written in English or Swedish. Application deadline is 1 March 2021.

Further information

For more information, please contact Dr. Maria Eriksson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We look forward to receiving your application!