Lunds universitet, Institutionen för naturgeografi och ekosystemvetenskap

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.

Few primary forests remain in Europe and we know surprisingly little about those that do. Even the locations of many of them has been a mystery. This postdoc project aims to study primary forests to answer the following questions:

  • Are primary forest states changing over time due to global environmental change?
  • Has mortality and disturbances increased or decreased in primary forests over recent decades and are such changes different from managed forests?

This project will combine fieldwork with analysis of forest inventory and remote sensing data to contribute to answering these questions.

Motivation and background
Primary forests have many names, including pristine forests and virgin forests. They are characterized by little to no direct human impact, mainly the lack of logging. Humans use more than 75% of ice-free land globally, and pristine ecosystems have been transformed to crop lands, pastures and managed forests. Mapping, measuring and studying primary forests serves two purposes:

(1) Whilst we can increasingly detect changes in forest productivity, biomass and even mortality from space, the lack of precise land use maps means that it has been hard to determine what is natural dynamics and what is human intervention (e.g. logging, fertilization, planting). Primary forests are ideal sites to study natural processes since they are defined by little to no past and present direct human impact.

(2) How much carbon pristine forests store or the biodiversity they harbor, can be used to estimate how human land use has affected land carbon storage and biodiversity. Acquiring maps, knowledge and understanding of primary forests in a timely manner is key since old growth forests are being logged and lost at a high rate in Europe and globally. The states of primary forests are also informative for the states that could be reached when restoring ecosystems through free development protection or re-wilding. 

Work duties
The main duties involved in a post-doctoral posistion is to conduct research. Teaching may also be included, but up to no more than 20% of working hours. The position shall include the opportunity for three weeks of training in higher education teaching and learning.

More specifically the postdoc will lead the work on:

(1) Mapping and estimation of carbon storage in Swedish primary forests.

(2) Investigate growth and mortality through the collection and analysis of tree cores in live and dead trees.

Qualification requirements
Appointment to a post-doctoral position requires that the applicant has a PhD, or an international degree deemed equivalent to a PhD, within the subject of the position, completed no more than three years before the date of employment decision. Under special circumstances, the doctoral degree can have been completed earlier.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.

Assessment criteria and other qualifications
This is a career development position primarily focused on research. The position is intended as an initial step in a career, and the assessment of the applicants will primarily be based on their research qualifications and potential as researchers.

Particular emphasis will be placed on research skills within the subject.

For appointments to a post-doctoral position, the following shall form the assessment criteria:

  • A good ability to develop and conduct high quality research.
  • Teaching skills.
  • Documented experience in field studies in northern and sub-arctic environments.
  • Experience of scientific publication in English.
  • Documented experience of all or some of the following methods; field carbon inventory, mapping, remote sensing or statistical modelling.
  • Experience in programming and tools for spatial statistics, geographical information systems and remote sensing.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant’s experience and skills complement and strengthen ongoing research within the department, and how they stand to contribute to its future development.

Terms of employment
This is a full-time, fixed-term employment for 2 years. The period of employment is determined in accordance with the agreement “Avtal om tidsbegränsad anställning som postdoktor” (“Agreement on fixed-term employment as a post-doctoral fellow”) between Lund University, SACO-S and OFR/S, dated 1st February 2022.

Instructions on how to apply
Applications shall be written in English and be compiled into a PDF-file containing:

  • résumé/CV, including a list of publications,
  • a general description of past research and future research interests (no more than three pages),
  • contact information of at least two references,
  • copy of the doctoral degree certificate, and other certificates/grades that you wish to be considered.
Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2022-12-01 or according to agreement. Duration two years
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2022/3598
  • Anders Ahlström, senior University lecturer,,0732028487
  • Tina Olsson, Human resource officer,,+4646222485
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-2229366
Published 21.Nov.2022
Last application date 05.Dec.2022 11:59 PM CET

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