Industry and collaboration PhD student in forest microbiology

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
August 19, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
Institutionen för skoglig mykologi och växtpatologi

The Research School in Future Silviculture

Sweden is a country where forests have been and still are of great importance. The use and utilization of the forest is an issue where the balance between forest production and the environment is in focus. Growth in Swedish forests has declined over the past 15 years. Biodiversity and the role of forests in climate change are now key societal issues that require more knowledge. In order to both sustainably use and safeguard forest biodiversity, a coherent basic science research program is needed that addresses large and complex issues and develops new analytical tools. It is against this background and in line with SLU:s investment in Future Sustainable Forest Management that the Research School in Future Silviculture is established with a focus on the future sustainable use of forests. The Research School Future Silviculture is part of the Wallenberg Initiative in Forest Research (WIFORCE) at SLU. During the programme, around 50 doctoral students will be admitted to the Research School. Would you like to make a difference for the future sustainable use of forests? Apply to join the Research School in Future Silviculture!

We are looking for an industry/collaboration-based PhD student in forest microbiology. The doctoral studies will be performed at the Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology at SLU in Uppsala. The employment will be with Holmen Skog AB (Gideå), where the PhD student will gain practical work experience. The doctoral student's supervisory team is headed by Judith Lundberg-Felten (Senior Lecturer, SLU) and Daniel Hägglund (Head of Plant Production and Seed Supply, Holmen Skog AB).

Read more about WIFORCE and the Research School: https: // www.

Read more about the Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology: https: // www.

Read more about Holmen: https: // www.

Research subject Biology Description:


The goal of the project is to identify molecular, ecological, and practical aspects of ectomycorrhizal soil fungi that allow increasing drought resistance in pine seedlings.

You are expected to conduct research, in collaboration with researchers at the Dept of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology and Holmen Skog AB, which leads to a doctoral degree and publication of papers. In parallel to the scientific work, the candidate will follow the PhD education at SLU. You are also expected to complete an industrial internship at your employer Holmen Skog AB.

In your research, you will use a combination of cultivation techniques for fungi and seedlings, molecular work, and bioinformatics on genome and transcriptome level to identify key genes related to drought resistance in the genus Suillus. You will also perform an analysis of existing ecological dataset and literature to gather knowledge on the ecology of Suillus.

About us

The department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology is a stimulating, international environment situated at BioCenter at SLU. The research centers around fundamental and applied questions on plant-microbe interactions, mycology, microbial ecology and evolution in forests and agriculture. The successful candidate will work within the forest microbiology division that aims to better understand the intricate relationships between plants and their associated soil biota under changing environmental conditions.


We are looking for a highly motivated and team-oriented candidate interested in forest microbiology and plant-fungal interactions. You should hold a MSc degree (or equivalent, according to basic eligibility for third-cycle education) in biology, ecology, biotechnology or forest science with emphasis on plants, fungi, or their interactions.

Familiarity with the Nordic forest ecosystems is desired. Documented experience in microbial ecology, mycology, plant/fungal cultivation and/or bioinformatics is a merit. Skills in handling large datasets, using R-language and high-performance computing is desirable. Excellent communication skills both in written and oral English are a requirement. Knowledge of Nordic languages or learning Swedish is expected for communicating with staff at the seedling nursery. Our ideal candidate is reliable, well-organized and pragmatic, and enjoys both practical and computational work. Furthermore, personal qualities such as attention to detail, high degree of self-motivation and enthusiasm in scientific work and discussion are important. Holding a driver's license is useful.

Place of work:


Forms for funding or employment:
  • Doctoral studies at SLU
  • 5-year employment at Holmen with 80% study activity as a PhD student (4 years) and 20% time for practical work experience at Holmen (1 year)
  • Starting date:

    According to agreement


    Click the “Apply” button to submit your application. The deadline is 2024-08-19.

    To qualify for third-cycle (Doctoral) courses and study programmes, you must have a second-cycle (Master's) qualification. Alternatively, you must have conducted a minimum of four years of full-time study, of which a minimum of one year at second-cycle level.

    Applicants will be selected based on their written application comprising a cover letter (1 page) including a description of research interests and a statement about why they are interested in and qualify for the project, CV, degree project, copies of their degree certificate and transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution, two personal references, and knowledge of English. More information about the English language requirements can be found here: https: // www. studies/application-admission-doctoral-studies/english-language-requirements/

    Please note that applicants invited to interview must submit attested copies of their degree certificate, or equivalent, a transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution. Applicants who are not Swedish citizens need to submit an attested copy of their passport's information page containing their photograph and personal details.

    Read about the PhD education at SLU at www. courses/doctoral-studies/

    Academic union representatives:

    https: // vid-rekrytering/

    Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet (SLU) har en nyckelroll i utvecklingen för hållbart liv, grundad i vetenskap och utbildning. Genom vårt fokus på samspelen mellan människa, djur och ekosystem och ett ansvarsfullt brukande av naturresurserna bidrar vi till en hållbar samhällsutveckling och goda livsvillkor på vår planet. Huvudorter är Alnarp, Umeå och Uppsala, men verksamhet bedrivs också på forskningsstationer, försöksparker och utbildningsorter i hela landet.

    SLU har drygt 3000 medarbetare, 5000 studenter och forskarstuderande och en omsättning på över tre miljarder kronor. Universitetet satsar på attraktiva miljöer på sina campusområden. Vi arbetar för en jämställd och inkluderande arbetsmiljö där öppna samtal mellan människor med olika erfarenheter lägger grunden för vetenskaplighet, kreativitet och utveckling. Vi välkomnar därför personer med olika bakgrunder och perspektiv att söka den aktuella anställningen.

    Contact person

    Judith Lundberg-Felten

    Senior Lector

    [email protected]

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