PhD position in Ecosystem Ecology – Terrestrial-aquatic interactions in boreal landscapes

Job Expired

The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science (Umeå University, Sweden) invites applicants for a PhD position in stream and riparian ecology. The expected starting date for the PhD position is Sept 01, 2019 or according to agreement. Application deadline is July 1, 2019.

Project description
Terrestrial ecosystems regulate the timing and magnitude of energy and nutrient supply to streams and lakes. However, in boreal landscapes, the belowground processes that control these interactions are poorly understood. This PhD student will help lead experimental and observational studies that explore how riparian plant and soil processes regulate terrestrial-aquatic exchange and stream ecosystem functioning in boreal catchments. She/he will join an interactive research team and will have the freedom to explore novel connections across the fields of plant ecophysiology, soil science, and stream ecosystem ecology.

What we offer

  • An individual study plan to support career development in ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, or environmental science
  • A supportive workplace with great employee benefits; Employment benefits
  • An opportunity to work, study, and live in the exciting northern part of Sweden; Live, work and study in Umeå
  • An international staff support that can help you relocate; International Staff Support

About the position
This position is fully financed through the Swedish Research Council (VR) and Umeå University. Ryan Sponseller will be the main supervisor. Martin Berggren (Lund University), Hjalmar Laudon (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU), Sandra Jämtgård (SLU), and Torgny Näsholm (SLU) are collaborators on this project and are potential co-supervisors for the PhD student.

The employment is expected to result in a doctoral degree and the main assignment for the student is thus to be part of the research education, which includes participation in research but also taking relevant courses. Teaching and other departmental activities (up to a maximum of 20% time) are typically included as well. Employment is limited to four years at full time or up to five years if teaching and other departmental work is performed. The salary is fixed according to the established salary level for doctoral students.

Admission requirements
For this position, we are looking for a person interested in ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry.  Applicants with specific interests in belowground processes in forests, catchment processes, or stream ecology are especially encouraged to apply. We expect the candidate to have an academic background in Ecology, Environmental Science, or a related field.

The recruitment procedure for the position is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance (Högskoleförordningen Chapter 5 and 7). Prerequisites include 240 ECTS credits (Swe. högskolepoäng) of higher education studies of which 60 should be on an advanced level (Master level), or equivalent competence. Education should include 120 ECTS credits (2 years) in subjects relevant to ecology and/or environmental science, at least one course at an advanced level in ecology or a similar field, as well as a 15 ECTS credits through an independent project in ecology or a similar field.

Additional requirements for this position include academic or research background in ecosystem ecology or biogeochemistry. The successful applicant should have good skills in written and spoken English, and also have a driver’s license for cars.  Strong merits include experience with fieldwork studying root processes or prior work on carbon cycling in soils or stream ecosystems. We are looking for someone who can be creative and show initiative. She/he should also show independence, yet have the ability to collaborate within a larger research group. Evaluations will be based on the application and on interviews.

You apply through our recruitment system on July 1, 2019 at the latest.  The application may be written in English or Swedish and should include:

1. A short (max 2 pages) description of why you are interested in the position
2. CV
3. Copies of certificates from higher education
4. List of completed university courses and the grades
5. Copy of publications/degree thesis
6. Contact information of 3 reference persons

If you have questions regarding the position, please contact Associate Professor Ryan Sponseller:

The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science (EMG) carries out research and postgraduate education in ecology, environmental science and physical geography. The department has about 150 employees and about 30 of these are PhD students. For more information, visit

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