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

The focus of this four-year PhD project in environmental science is to disentangle the role that roads and road verges play for pollinator populations, with the aim to identify optimal pollinator conservation strategies along roads. Pollinating insects are declining and one of the main drivers behind these declines is that agricultural intensification has resulted in loss of flower-rich habitats. Road verges, on the other hand, are increasingly abundant habitats, which are or could be converted into attractive foraging habitats for pollinating insects. It is therefore possible that strategies to increase the abundance of flowers along roads could mitigate current resource deficits for pollinator populations. However, there is also a risk that flower-rich road verges act as so called ecological traps, by attracting pollinators to roads where they suffer from high mortality due to emissions from and collisions with vehicles. The aim of this project is to identify and quantify features of roads and road verges that determine how flower-rich road verges affect pollinators, with the ultimate aim to, in interaction with stakeholders, propose realistic road verge management strategies benefitting pollinators. The project is a collaboration between Lund University and the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket).

Work tasks

The PhD student will be responsible for empirically evaluating how features of roads and road verges such as road verge width, flower abundance, traffic pressure, speed limits and estimated air quality affect pollinators and the pollination of wild plants. The assignments include planning and conducting field experiments, collecting and analyzing data, writing scientific articles and presenting results to the scientific community and relevant stakeholders. The work will include use of remote sensing and/or GIS to design studies and quantify relevant drivers of pollinator performance, landscape-scale design of ecological field-studies, ecological field-work, analyses of landscape-scale data, trans-disciplinary development of pollinator-friendly road verge management strategies and the development of a digital tool to facilitate and optimize the identification of road verges suitable for pollinator-adapted designs.

Required qualifications

We are looking for a motivated and communicative person with a Master’s degree or equivalent (including a degree project of 30 credits or more) in ecology, conservation biology, environmental science, physical geography, or similar subjects. Particular merits for this position are documented knowledge of biodiversity conservation and landscape ecology. We also consider as important merits documented knowledge of insect identification (in particular pollinators) and analysis of spatial data including GIS. In addition we value knowledge of traffic related air pollution, programing skills and experience in statistical analysis. A driving license (B-körkort) and proficiency in written and spoken English as well as Swedish are requirements.


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§.


Applications should be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position, and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
First day of employment Snarast, enligt överenskommelse
Salary Månadslön
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2020/220
  • Henrik Smith, Recruiting Manager , +46 46 222 93 79
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 23.Jan.2020
Last application date 23.Feb.2020 11:59 PM CET

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