Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 47 000 students and more than 8 800 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.

Work duties
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, up to 20%.

A central question in evolutionary biology is the maintenance of genetic variation, or more technically: genetic polymorphisms. Of particular interest are those genetic polymorphisms that occur in several closely related species and in which the variation has survived several speciation events. Such transspecies polymorphisms occur among other speces in damselflies within the genus Ischnura, where many species have two or more genetic colour varieties that have coexisted several millions of years. The project aims to study and understand how these colour polymorphisms are maintained over both microevolutionary time scales of a few generations and over macroevolutionary time scales over millions of years. To answer these questions, a combination of empirical field studies, molecular genetic approaches and evolutionary theory is needed.

The project includes a combination of field studies in natural populations, experiment and genomic, bioinformatics, phylogenetic and population genetic approaches. The project entails both field work in Sweden and abroad, including collection visits to biological museums and the laboratories of other research groups. Further, the work could also entail the collection of phenotypic data from large international databases like the Global Biodiversity Infrastructure (GBIF) and Citizen Science Data from iNaturalist. Data can be collected from e. g. photographs using machine learning and deep learning techniques. Other background resources and information available for this project include data from a long-term population study of morph frequency dynamics from the field of the Common Bluetail damselfly (Ischnura elegans) in Sweden, a reference genome for this species and phenotypic, phylogenetic and bioinformatics data for other species in this genus.

The project entails field studies in Sweden and/or abroad (4-8 weeks/year) and molecular laboratory work, bioinformatics and statistical analyses of collected data. In summary: this is a project well suited for students with a background from and interest in behavioural studies, ecology, field work and experiments, molecular methods and bioinformatics and with a passion for general evolutionary theory and population genetics.

Admission requirements
A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in Biology if he or she has passed an independent project (for example a degree project) of at least 30 credits in a relevant subject and have good oral and written proficiency in English.

Additional requirements

  • MSc in evolutionary biology, evolutionary ecology, animal ecology or related area
  • Excellent oral and written proficiency in English
  • Valid Drivers license (minimum Swedish license category B)
  • Excellent and demonstrated ability for proactive and independent work
  • Practical experience in molecular laboratory work and bioinformatics analyses
  • Practical experience of field work, ideally with insects and internationally from different types of environments (e. g.from both temperate and tropical field sites)

In addition to the mandatory requirements, documented experience in the following areas will be considered as strong merits: Data handling, statistics and bioinformatics, good skills and demonstrated abilities in in programming in “R” and experience of morphometric analyses (“imageJ”). Futher, it will also be considered to be advantageous if you have experience in experimental design and behavioural studies in the field and laboratory environments and good ability to gain knowledge in species identification and phenotypic classification.

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, for example professional experience.

Consideration will also be given to strong collaborative skills, personal 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 programe.

Terms of employment
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 should be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the postgraduate education programme 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 reference persons, possible letters of recommendation, etc.).

Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment 2022-09-01 or according to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2022/200
  • Amra Hadzimesic, HR-administrator, +46 46 222 00 00
  • Erik Svensson, Professor, +46462223819,
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 01.Mar.2022
Last application date 22.Mar.2022 11:59 PM CET

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