Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geograhy and Ecosystem Science

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 45 000 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.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Subject description

The recent drought event in 2018 caused large reduction in food production in Northern Europe including Sweden. Global climate change is expected to increase extreme events, posing great threat to food security and sustainable social-economic development. Process-based crop growth models are important tools to predict crop yields under different climate scenarios, but they are often limited by insufficient representation of internal key physical and biological processes of vegetation and thus their predictions contain large uncertainty. Satellite Earth observations have been successfully used to provide spatial information on vegetation-related variables (e.g. vegetation phenology, evapotranspiration and crop yields) that can be used to constrain crop growth models. This project will work on integrating satellite earth observations and a crop growth model for improved assessment of climate change impacts on crop yields in Sweden.

The research also links to the activities of the Carbon Portal of the Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS), a European infrastructure for measurement and analysis of greenhouse gas concentration and fluxes from ecosystems and oceans, hosted at Department for Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Sweden (INES). The position is embedded within the remote sensing and vegetation modelling group at INES.

Work duties

The PhD candidate will carry out research within the FORMAS funded research project “Integration of satellite remote sensing and crop modelling for improved assessment of climate change impacts on crop yields in Sweden”. The ideal starting date is January 1, 2021 but can be discussed. The candidate will be supervised by senior scientists at the department and the work will also contribute to the Swedish Strategic Research Area BECC (Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate) and MERGE (Modelling the Regional and Global Earth System). Main tasks for the PhD candidate include

  • Developing a long-term gridded dataset of vegetation indexes, crop evapotranspiration and crop yields at high spatial resolution from multiple satellite
  • Constraining a dynamic crop model (LPJ-GUESS) using remotely sensed dataset for predicting crop yields in Sweden and incorporating a land management modelling scheme into LPJ-GUESS
  • Assessing impacts of climate change on crop yields in Sweden using the latest IPCC climate scenarios

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Additional requirements:

  • M.Sc. in Physical Geography, Geomatics, Environmental Science, Ecology, or a similar topic
  • Skills in modelling and programming (e.g. Matlab, Python or R)
  • Skills in remote sensing. Proven experience in processing satellite data (particularly Landsat, MODIS, and Sentinel-2) is an advantage
  • Good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Good communication skills and ability to work independently and in a group..

Assessment criteria

Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following:

  • Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study.
  • An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

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.

Terms of employment

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

Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

Instructions on how to apply

Applications shall 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
First day of employment 2021-01-01
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2020/2602
  • Zheng Duan, +46 46 222 40 83
  • Wenxin Zhang, +46 46 222 00 00
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
Published 11.Aug.2020
Last application date 30.Sep.2020 11:59 PM CEST

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