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Department of Ecology

The student will be based at the Dept of Ecology, part of the Ecology Centre of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), in Uppsala. The student will join a stimulating and dynamic research environment and an extensive national and international network with colleagues who focus on multiple aspects of sustainable agriculture. At the Ecology Centrum, we generate knowledge on how land use and climate affects plants, nutrient cycling, greenhouse gas balance, and animals, and develop sustainable solutions for the future.

Read more about working work at SLU at https: // www. at-slu/

PhD position - plant-environment and plant-plant interactions

Are you looking for an exciting PhD position on plant-environment and plant- plant interactions, using mechanistic models or data analyses? Do you want to identify management practices that minimize negative environmental impacts and are robust to climate change? Are you highly motivated to undertake a PhD training and actively pursue an academic career?


Crop production needs to be transformed. Agriculture can be made more sustainable and resilient by relying more on ecosystem services provided by cultivated and wild biodiversity and less on external inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. These ecosystem services depend on crop traits and climate and soil conditions. Any management practice has inherent tradeoffs. This doctoral project will look at advantages and disadvantages of different management practices for primary production, climate change adaptation, and reduced environmental impacts, via mathematical models based on ecological and physiological mechanisms or data analyses.

As PhD student in Biology with specialization in Ecology, the student will carry out supervised research leading to a PhD thesis and take PhD courses (minimum 30 higher education credits).


The required qualification is at least 240 higher education credits, including at least 60 credits at 2nd cycle education. The credits can be in ecology, engineering, earth and environmental sciences, hydrology, statistics, applied mathematics, agronomy, or related fields. Written and oral proficiency in English is required. Interest and previous experience in developing mechanistic models coupling plants, biogeochemical cycles, ecosystems, and environmental conditions, and/or statistical analyses of large datasets, including from remote sensing, as well as strong quantitative and programming skills (in MatLab, R, Python, C, Mathematica, or other languages for data analysis and model implementation) are merits.

The selection among the eligible applicants will be based on their capacity to benefit from the training, as well as their creativity, initiative, and independence. Selection is made with reference to the written application and an interview. Particular emphasis is placed on your written motivation, describing your research interests and interest in the project, plus and what makes you a motivated candidate for this PhD program.

Place of work:


Forms for funding or employment:

Employment as PhD student (4 year education).

Starting date:

Autumn 2024, or by agreement.


Click the “Apply” button to submit your application. The deadline is 2024-05-09.

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 and 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: www. students/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/

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has a key role in the development for sustainable life, based on science and education. Through our focus on the interaction between humans, animals and ecosystems and the responsible use of natural resources, we contribute to sustainable societal development and good living conditions on our planet. Our main campuses are located in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, however, the university also operates at research stations, experimental forests and teaching sites throughout Sweden.

SLU has around 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and doctoral students and a turnover of over SEK 3 billion. We are investing in attractive environments on all of our campuses. We strive to provide a work environment characterised by inclusivity and gender equality, where different experiences generate conversations between people and pave the way for science, creativity and development. Therefore, we welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Contact person

Giulia Vico

[email protected]

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