Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

The Faculty of Science conducts research and education within Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Geosciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Environmental Sciences. The Faculty is organized into nine departments, gathered in the northern campus area. The Faculty has approximately 1500 students, 330 PhD students and 700 employees.

Project description

Microbial temperature dependences in soil: the feed-back to climate warming

This project will improve our understanding of the soil C feedback from microorganisms due to climate change induced warming. Microorganisms play a crucial role in the global C cycle. The balance between the microbial release of C to the atmosphere due to respiration and microbial use of C for growth - and subsequent potential sequestration in soil - might not determine by itself if terrestrial systems become sources or sinks for atmospheric CO2. The primary physiological factor that determines how microorganisms partition their C-use into catabolic energy generation or for anabolic growth is the carbon-use efficiency (CUE). Climatic warming will affect the activity and adaptation of microorganisms, however, the microbial feedback to these changes remain unknown. This microbial C-feedback to the atmosphere is probably one of the most critical, yet least known, parts of climate-C cycle modelling; emphasizing the urgency for this research. The main objective of this laboratory intensive project is to determine the effects of soil warming on microbial CUE in different biomes and across seasons. As such the central objective is to assess the temperature dependences of microbial growth and respiration in different biomes and how they vary over seasonal change, to elucidate the type, magnitude and speed of microbial adaptation to climate change.

Job description

You will primarily work with your supervisor Johannes Rousk (, and the ecological understanding will be translated into information for ecosystem models advised by your assistant supervisor David Wårlind ( The position is one of six PhD-positions that is parly financed by the strategic research area BECC (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Climate) BECC is an interdisciplinary research environment at Lund and Gothenburg universities where researchers from several disciplines within science, social science and economy, together work with questions about biodiversity, ecosystem services and climate change.

Required qualifications

Candidates should have an advanced university degree (M.Sc. or equivalent experience /competence) in biology, biogeochemistry, environmental science, or equivalent fields, preferably with a focus on microbial ecology. Proficiency in English is a requirement. Documented experience with research (e.g. master thesis or equivalent), and with laboratory methods relevant to the project are important merits.

The application should include a letter that includes the motivation for PhD studies, and a description of previous education and research interests (max 2 pages). lt should further include a curriculum vitae (CV), copies of degrees and transcripts of academic records, and contact information (phone, email) for at least two personal references. Relevant publications can also be enclosed, including accepted academic papers and research theses (e.g. master thesis).

Students with basic eligibility for third-cycle studies are those who- have completed a second-cycle degree- have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, or- have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.

The employment of doctoral students is regulated in the Swedish Code of Statues 1998: 80. Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. When an appointment to a doctoral studentship is made, the ability of the student to benefit from PhD-studies shall primarily be taken into account. In addition to devoting themselves to their studies, those appointed to doctoral studentships may be required to work with educational tasks, research and administration, in accordance with specific regulations in the ordinance.

Type of employment
Limit of tenure, four years according to HF 5 kap 7§.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2019/979
  • Johannes Rousk, Universitetslektor, +46 46 222 37 45
  • Elin Johansson, +46 46 222 79 21
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66
Published 22.Mar.2019
Last application date 08.Jun.2019 11:59 PM CET

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