Postdoctoral Research Fellow, palaeoecology, Uppsala, Sweden

A Postdoctoral Research Fellow in palaeoecology in the research project Contesting Marginality: The Boreal Forest of Inland Scandinavia and the Worlds Outside, AD–1500 AD is available in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University, Sweden.


This is a two-year, full-time position as postdoctoral researcher in palaeoecology will be based at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Campus Uppsala. The position is available from 1 January 2019.


The main objective of the project is to understand the role of Scandinavia’s forested inland in the larger historical developments that took place in northern Europe in the Iron Age and the Middle Ages (AD–1500 AD). Current research indicates that an increasing amount of goods from the forested region accumulated in the early central places, discoveries that challenge conventional understandings of the inland region. These discoveries do also point out a knowledge gap this project will address; how did the people in the forested inland structure their communities, landscapes and relations with the surrounding world? The proposed project will address these issues, by drawing upon a theoretical framework of niche construction, landscape domestication and entanglement, and by studying relict hotspots of biocultural heritage, which are visible remains of past practices in the landscape, in archaeological sites, in place names and as responses in the forests vegetation and soils. The project will challenge a prevailing view on the forested inland as marginal and situated outside the historical developments of Scandinavia. We forward the hypothesis that from early first millennium AD innovative, active and knowledgeable communities of the forested inland were socially and economically integrated into systems of trade and interaction with the worlds outside, which in turn became crucial components for Viking Age and early medieval state formation processes and early urbanisation.

In the project, archaeologists, biologists and palaeobotanists investigate the forest cultural landscape in inner Scandinavia with a combined perspective of visible remains of past activities in the landscape, in the form of archeological sites, place names and responses in forest vegetation and topography. The project analyses archaeological finds to identify resource and production areas, craft specialisation, trade hubs and end consumption areas. The results from our project will not only provide new knowledge about the historical events in Scandinavia during the Iron Age, the Viking Age and the Middle Ages, but also contribute to a better understanding of the forest's biological heritage.


The employment is part of the research project Contesting Marginality: The Boreal Forest of Inland Scandinavia and the Worlds Outside, AD – 1500 AD. The postdoctoral researcher will, in close collaboration with the research team, compile and study existing and new pollen archives in combination with studies of current vegetation in boreal forest environments. An important task for the postdoctoral researcher is to develop an automated system for pollen analysis.


For employment as a postdoctoral researcher, the candidate should have obtained a doctorate or equivalent foreign degree within a relevant subject area no more than three years before the end of the application date. If there are special reasons, the doctorate may have completed the degree earlier. Special reasons refers to unemployment due to illness, parental leave, military service, trust in trade unions, etc.

Desirable/meriting in general: Desirable qualifying skills are botany, plant ecology, archeology, and digital image analysis.

Assessment criteria: When selecting among qualified applicants, particular importance will be attached to scientific skill.

The university will in this recruitment mainly take into account who, after an overall assessment of documented qualifications, skills and skill, is expected to have the best prerequisites for implementing and developing current tasks and contributing to a positive development of the project.


Apply by 31 October 2018 here:

The application is done in the online application system and must contain (1) a letter of application with a description of the research interests, relevant experience, justification of why you are suitable for the service (2) CV and publication list, (3) contact details for two reference persons (email and phone), (4) copy of diploma, (5) unpublished work that the applicant wishes to claim. The application must be written in English.

Uppsala University strives to be an inclusive workplace that promotes equal opportunities and attracts qualified candidates who can contribute to the University’s excellence and diversity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and from people of all backgrounds.

In the event of divergent interpretations of the English and Swedish versions of this announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

Further information

For further information about the position please contact:
Head of the Department
Susanne Carlsson
tel. 018-471 2086
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Senior lecturer and project coordinator
Karl-Johan Lindholm
tel. 018-471 2081
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