Researcher position - Systems biology of farmed salmon - Ref. 15/03788

Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Job Location
1430 Ås
NOK 482800-559600 per year

NMBU offers:

  • The national node for digital production biology within Digital Life Norway, with great opportunities for cross-disciplinary theoretical-experimental, applied research.
  • Beautiful surroundings just outside Oslo.
  • A sociable and inclusive work environment.
  • Various welfare schemes.
Job Description

The Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences is inviting applications for a researcher position in the systems biology of farmed salmon (3 years with possibility of extension). The successful candidate will work within the Centre for Integrative Genetics (CIGENE), which includes comprehensive molecular lab facilities and a strong environment dedicated to bioinformatics, and mathematical modeling. Salmon farming is Norway’s biggest export industry besides oil, and CIGENE researchers recently headed the sequencing of the salmon genome. This paves the way for large-scale application of systems biology in salmon farming.


Research project

The position is part of the project “Towards the Digital Salmon: From a reactive to a pre-emptive research strategy in aquaculture (DigiSal)”. Headed by NMBU and involving multiple partners in academia, industry and abroad, it is part of the large, prestigious national effort, Digital Life Norway,which is the Research Council of Norway’s first call dedicated to systems biology.

To enable sustainable growth of salmon farming, efforts are underway to develop novel feed ingredients from non-food biomasses. These novel feeds pose challenges both for salmon metabolism and for our understanding of it. DigiSal is a highly interdisciplinary project to understand the complex metabolic and regulatory processes following dietary changes in salmon, combining nutritional expertise, cutting-edge salmon genomics, high-throughput omics technologies and model-based analysis of omics data.

To support this endeavour, DigiSal will establish a “Digital Salmon” knowledge base of salmon genetics and physiology, interfacing closely with complementary databases, repositories, and research infrastructures such as ELIXIR. The Digital Salmon will encompass a coherent digital and mathematical representation of the salmon body, which can be adjusted to represent individuals with different genetic make-ups, populations, disease states, feeding regimes, and other scenarios of interest. Closely related to DigiSal is the ongoing project GenoSysFat, “Integrating genomics and system biology to improve the capacity for synthesis, transport, and filet deposition of EPA/DHA in salmon”.

Main tasks

The successful applicant will be part of a highly inter-disciplinary group and will focus on mathematical modelling and multivariate analysis for integration of knowledge and data (physiological data and -omics data) from all activities in the project. The main activities will be building and refining models to predict metabolic performance in relation to diet and genotype, and publishing biological insights from these models. The work will involve visits to collaborators in the Systems and Synthetic Biology unit in Wageningen, the Netherlands. The researcher will work closely with a dedicated systems biology informatics manager to ensure findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable data and models.


Academic qualifications

Minimum requirements

  • PhD in systems biology, mathematical biology, computational biology, or similar
  • Experience with constraint-based modelling
  • Experience with integrating -omics data and biological knowledge

Additional preferred requirements

  • Experience with molecular systems biology, including modelling and analysis
  • Experience with analysing and visualizing multivariate data from multiple sources
  • Familiarity with version control and open standards for data and models
  • Proficiency in R, Python or similar for simulations and data analysis 

Desired personal qualities
Personal characteristics important for the position are:

  • Enthusiasm and curiosity for transdisciplinary, applied systems biological research
  • Ability for independent work displaying initiative, creative and careful thought
  • Interest in shorter or longer stays with collaborators in Norway or abroad
  • Excellent written and oral English communication skills
How to Apply

Email enquiries welcome: Jon Olav Vik, [email protected]

Full announcement with link to application form:

Please note that it's okay to upload CV and publication list as pdf attachments, saving the hassle of entering the information piecemeal into the electronic application system.

About Our Organization

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has 1700 employees and 5100 students, and is currently located on two campuses – Ås, about 30 km south of Oslo, and Adamstuen in Oslo. NMBU does basic and applied research addressing global challenges regarding energy and climate change, the environment, health, food safety, technology and renewable solutions, use and conservation of land and natural resources, and development of the bio-economy.

New study finds bias against female lecturers among student course evaluations, the Economist reports.

A research duo finds that science and technology graduate students who turn away from academic careers do so because of changes in their own interests.

Students whose classmates are interested in science are more likely to think about a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, a new study says.

CNBC reports that the genetic counseling field is expected to grow as personalized medicine becomes more common.