Doctoral (PhD) candidate in Freshwater Ecology

Photo: Ragnhildur Magnúsdóttir Photo: Ragnhildur Magnúsdóttir

The Marine and Freshwater Research Institute (MFRI) in collaboration with University of Iceland and Imperial College London has a PhD position in Freshwater Ecology from January 2020. The research project will focus on the ecology of the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and its riparian ecosystem in Northeast Iceland. The PhD candidate will be employed by MFRI where the successful candidate will have access to all necessary facilities required for the research. Most of the field work will be carried out in Northeast Iceland, which then may require lengthy periods of presence at the field sites.

Project description

The research project is a part of a larger project funded by Falkathing, Iceland. The aim of the project is to identify and implement measures to sustain and grow salmon populations in rivers, Northeast Iceland. To begin with, two PhD candidates will be employed, one will be based at MFRI and the other one, who will mainly be working on modelling, will be hosted by the Imperial College London. There will be close cooperation between these two candidates and scientists at each of the three institutes involved.

The main research topics for the MFRI PhD student will include: a) within stream migration and habitat utilization of salmon, b) to construct food-webs and determine energy fluxes between trophic levels, c) the effect of stock enhancement e.g. egg planting on population ecology of salmon, d) collection of genetic material to build pilot DNA database, e) analyses on catchment characteristics on salmon population dynamics e.g. afforestation and f) collation of existing data on salmon ecology in streams of Northeast Iceland, these data will be shared by the two students.

The post is for four years. The successful candidate will have to register at the University of Iceland and will have to fulfil all requirements to be accepted as PhD student.


Applicants must have a MSc degree or equivalent in biology with emphasis on Aquatic sciences.

- The successful applicant must be able to work independently as well as in teams.

- The successful applicant should have good skills/competence in written and spoken English and should have advanced skills in numerical analyses, statistics and modelling.

- The successful applicant should have a driving licence.

- Strong merits include experience in undertaking fieldwork.

The applications can be written in English or Icelandic and should include:

1)   A short (max 2 pages A4) description why you are interested in the position, what are your general interests and why you should be chosen for this post.

2)   CV including list of publications.

3)   Copies of certificates from higher education (BSc and MSc).

4)   List of completed university courses and grades.

5)   Copy of publications and degree thesis.

6)   Letter of recommendation from two reference persons and their contact information.

Deadline for applications is October 31st. Applications should be sent to or to Hafrannsoknastofnun, Skulagata 4, 101 Reykjavik. The starting date for this PhD position is early January 2020. Salary is according agreement between Félag íslenskra náttúrufræðinga (FÍN; the union for natural scientists) and the Ministry of Finance (

Further information will be provided by Guðni Guðbergsson director of the Freshwater division ( or Sólmundur Már Jónsson director of human resources (

Both men and women are encouraged to send in applications. All applicants will be informed whether they will be hired or not.

Marine and Freshwater Research Institute is the largest research institute in marine and freshwater science in Iceland, providing advice to the government on sustainable use and protection of the environment. The institute has its headquarters in Reykjavik, branches around Iceland and operates an aquaculture experimental station and two research vessels. The institute employs around 190 staff.

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