The Millennium Nucleus for Limits of Life in Patagonia (Lili) is calling for a full-time 2 years Postdoctoral position to conduct research in ecology at the treeline ecotone of Chile. Starting date: March 2022.

The Lili Nucleus is an interdisciplinary research center dedicated to identify ecophysiological and genetic constraints of trees, animals, and microorganisms at the treeline ecosystems in Patagonia. The center is led by four principal researchers which together cover highly contrasting, but potentially complementary, disciplines: Juliana Vianna (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago), Frida Piper (Universidad de Talca, Talca, Chile), Francisco Cubillos R. (Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Santiago), and Roberto Nespolo (Director of Lili, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile). Research expertise in the center includes plant and animal ecophysiology and across-organism genetics.

Position features
We expect the postdocs to design and develop creative, specialized and independent research in collaboration with PIs and to participate in the co-supervision of students and lead interdisciplinary workshops.

There are two optional research areas to be covered by this position:

·         Consequences of temperature-driven change in tree metabolism, physiognomy, and architecture for associated microorganisms at the treeline ecotone. Background: The elevational decrease in temperature reduces tree growth, increases the tree C reserves, and favors the expression of functional traits associated with resource conservation (e.g. higher wood density, lower bark width). These changes are critical for tree survival and resilience to stress at the treeline, but their consequences on the microorganisms living in the tree bark are unknown.

·         Temperature-controlled physiological coordination of tree-marsupial-yeast. Background: The treeline tree species Nothofagus pumilio hosts other organisms, like the native marsupial Dromiciops spp and yeast Saccharomyces sp. These organisms enter into winter dormancy and weak up in spring, thanks to C reserve remobilization. Temperature gradients determined by latitude and elevation determine the length of the dormancy and the growing season, but it is unknown whether this happens similarly (i.e. if the temperature constraints are similar) across these organisms.


·         PhD in biology/ecology/agronomy/biochemistry/forestry

·         Leadership capacity to write scientific publications.

·         Leadership capacity to conduct fieldwork.

·         Physical condition and expertise for tough fieldworks.

·         Availability to travel. The research will involve intensive fieldworks at high-elevation ecosystems spanning from Tierra del Fuego to Central Chile.

·         Driver license.

·         English and Spanish languages.

·         Experience in scientific writing supported by publication. The first work we will ask is to write an integrative review.

What we offer
·         Base Salary: 1.900.000 CLP/month (total), plus incentives per publication.

·         Co-supervision by two LiLi Principal Investigators.

·         Office and laboratory infrastructure facilities.

·         Financial support for travelling, fieldwork, seminars, workshops and laboratory and field equipment.

·         Location: Talca (University of Talca) or Valdivia (Austral University of Chile), depending on the profile of the applicant.

Candidates should submit their CV, publication list, a one-page letter briefly outlining the candidate’s research background and interests, and the names and contact information of three references (electronic submission in one PDF document is strongly preferred).

Send applications to: Valeria Abarca,