Doctoral Student In Marine Biogeochemistry Focusing On How Blue Growth Sectors Will Influence Greenhouse Gas Fluxes

Göteborg University
June 19, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Fixed term employmen
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

The University of Gothenburg tackles society's challenges with diverse knowledge. 56 000 students and 6 600 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract researchers and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

Doctoral position in Marine Biogeochemistry

The Department of Marine Science (https: // www. at the University of Gothenburg has with its broad scientific competence area and its unique infrastructure the most complete environment for marine science and marine education in Sweden. Only a few similar organisations exist in Europe. Through advanced research infrastructure and the clear connection to societies needs and challenges, the department contributes to new solutions for the global challenges surrounding the ocean.

The Department of Marine Science conducts science, education and innovation related to the sea and its resources. The operation is conducted in Gothenburg, at the research stations Kristineberg Center for Marine Science and Innovation and Tjärnö Marine Laboratory, as well as on the research vessel Skagerak. The department has an interdisciplinary width that includes marine biology, marine chemistry, marine geology, marine conservation and oceanography, and the research area spans geographically from coast to world ocean. Our scientists and students often have prominent roles in international expeditions, from Antarctica, Arctic, and the great world seas, but also work in our newly built laboratories with advanced equipment and complex analyses methods. The department also has a broad education palette, including a bachelor's program, three master´s programs and a Ph. D. education in the marine domain

General information about being a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg can be found on the university's doctoral student pages.

https: //

Subject area description

The ocean is one of the most quickly changing regions globally. The blue growth wants to promote and prioritize the expansion of marine economy sectors such as marine industrial activities, sustainable energy, marine tourism, fisheries, and aquaculture. For example, aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector currently and feeds more than half of the world's population with marine products. Along with these massive growths, investigating marine biogeochemical cycles in affected regions is crucial for understanding current and projected carbon and nitrogen budgets.

The coastal ocean fuels the atmosphere with conspicuous amounts of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). This is because the distance from the seafloor to the surface is relatively short, and a fraction of the sedimentary CH4 and N2O does not get fully consumed in the water column. Under increasing pressures from human activities, it is not clear whether the distribution of CH4 and N2O in the upper coastal ocean will decrease or increase. For example, fish farming activities increase the transport of organic matter to the sediments, which may increase remineralization and CH4 and N2O fluxes. However, quantifications of how much GHGs reach the atmosphere due to mariculture are scarce at present.

This PhD project aims to address these knowledge gaps to deliver several outcomes crucial from both scientific and management perspectives. Specifically, the student will: (a) resolve high-resolution CH4 and N2O benthic and sea-air fluxes from bivalve and fish farming; (b) determine the impact of novel entities on benthic carbon and nitrogen cycling including fluxes of CH4 and N2O; (c) compare emissions deriving from fast-growing Blue Economy sectors to build updated carbon and nitrogen budgets.

The proposed project includes collaboration with scientists from environmental chemistry, molecular ecology, benthic ecology, and biogeochemistry that will improve our understanding of how human pressures may alter vital ecosystem services and will make it possible to propose potential mitigation measures.


Research assignments - The PhD student will participate and organize research expeditions mainly using small vessels and boats; carry out continuous CH4 and N2O flux measurements; sample water, sediment, and animal specimens; perform lab analyses of gas concentrations, isotope compositions and possibly genetic analyses of biological samples.

Practical tasks include, but are not limited to, development of protocols for in situ measurements (chambers, bubble catchers, etc.), application of new laboratory techniques, analyses of gases and nutrients with multiple instruments, data analysis, and paper writing.

The candidate is expected to travel for extended periods of time and work in remote locations.

Education at third-cycle level comprises four years of full-time study, and leads to a doctoral degree.

As part of your employment as a doctoral student, you may have departmental duties corresponding to up to 20 % of full-time employment, distributed throughout your study period. Departmental duties usually consist of teaching at first- and second-cycle levels, but may also include research and administration.

What we offer

The PhD student will join a young, thriving, and enthusiastic team working on Marine biogeochemistry at the Department of Marine Science in Gothenburg. The PhD student will carry out their own project but at the same time will collaborate with other students and postdocs. Excellent collaborative skills are required as their work will be linked to multidisciplinary groups and active collaboration with researchers from GU, Stockholm University, University of Bergen and others.

The candidates will have access to state-of-the-art research vessels and biogeochemistry laboratories. Main working place is campus Gothenburg located in the brand new Science Faculty building Natrium (https: // www. medicinareberget).


Education at third-cycle level requires general eligibility and, where appropriate, specific eligibility as set out in the general syllabus for the subject.

The general eligibility requirements for education at third-cycle level are:

  • having completed a degree at second-cycle level, or
  • the fulfilment of course requirements totalling at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits must be at second-cycle level, or
  • the acquisition of equivalent knowledge in some other way, either in Sweden or abroad.
  • To meet the specific entry requirements for third-cycle studies, applicants must:

  • have a master's degree in a relevant subject area in the natural sciences,
  • have completed studies for at least 60 higher education credits at a second-cycle level in relevant subject areas in the natural sciences, or
  • have completed a corresponding programme of relevance to the planned third-cycle programme, in Sweden or in another country, or have equivalent qualifications.
  • Relevant subject for the planned third-cycle education is biogeochemistry, environmental chemistry, marine ecology, marine chemistry, environmental sciences, or a closely related field.

    Assessment criteria

    The selection of applicants who meet the basic and specific eligibility requirements will be based on the ability to assimilate the education at third-cycle level.

    The following is considered essential:

  • Experience with nutrient and/or greenhouse gas determinations
  • Familiarity with handling marine samples, i.e., seawater and sediments
  • Driver's license
  • Exemplary teamwork and communication skills
  • Experience with project planning and coordination (experimental design, setting up incubation experiments, logistics)
  • The following is considered advantageous:

  • Solid skills in data analyses
  • Have skills in working at sea on boats and research vessels.
  • Employment

    Once you have been admitted for education at third-cycle level, you will be employed as a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg.

    The provisions for employment as a doctoral student can be found in ordinance SFS 1993:100.

    Initial employment as a doctoral student may apply for a maximum of one year, and may be renewed by a maximum of two years at a time.

    A doctoral student may be employed as a doctoral student for a maximum of eight years, but the total period of employment may not be longer than the equivalent of full-time education at third-cycle level for four years.

    Type of employment: Fixed term employment, 4 years. Extent: Full time, 100%. Location: Until further notice at the Department of Marine Sciences at Gothenburg First day of employment: As soon as possible, and no later than 1st of August 2024.

    The University applies a local agreement on salaries for doctoral students.

    Selection process

    First a selection based on the qualifications and merits of the candidates will be carried out, and the candidates will be ranked. The highest ranked applicants will be contacted for interview. Interviews will take place either in person or on Zoom. Interviews are typically one hour long, during which the candidate presents their previous work, and gets an opportunity to ask the selection committee about the project, the life in the department, and other administrative questions. Experience with scientific writing in English and will be tested during interviews. The selection committee is making the final decision.

    Contact information

    If you have any questions about the position (the project, duties etc.), please contact Docent Stefano Bonaglia, [email protected]

    If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Sofie Emanuelsson, HR, [email protected]


    Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg can be found here: https: // www.


    You can apply to be admitted for education at third-cycle level via the University of Gothenburg's recruitment portal.

    It is your responsibility to ensure that the application is complete as per the vacancy notice, and that the University receives it by the final application deadline.

    The following documents should be included in the application:

  • A short cover letter written in English, with the applicant's motivation for the position that describes how the applicant meets the selection criteria and how the application is well suited for the proposed work (max. one A4 page).
  • An attested list of qualifications (CV) that includes possible publications.
  • Examination certificates and a transcript of courses with grades.
  • A copy of the master thesis (or equivalent). If you have not yet completed the thesis yet, please include a short description of the thesis work with title, abstract and brief overview of results (in English).
  • Employments certificates and other documents deemed important by the applicant.
  • Contact information for at least two references that are familiar with the applicant's qualifications.
  • Reference number should be clearly stated when sending complementary documents.
  • Applications must be received by: 2024-06-19

    Information for International Applicants

    Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step. Thus, to give you a general idea of what we and Gothenburg have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your family/spouse/partner please visit:

    https: // www. https: // www.

    The University works actively to achieve a working environment with equal conditions, and values the qualities that diversity brings to its operations.

    Salaries are set individually at the University.

    In accordance with the National Archives of Sweden's regulations, the University must archive application documents for two years after the appointment is filled. If you request that your documents are returned, they will be returned to you once the two years have passed. Otherwise, they will be destroyed.

    In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.

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