Lund University, 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 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.

Subject description

A PhD position in the subject Physical Geography and Ecosystem science is hereby announced at the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem sciences, Lund University (LU), Sweden. The research in physical geography and ecosystem science includes studies of the landscape and ecosystems, their resources and transformation through both natural processes and human influences. The study of climate change, climatology, is a significant subject component, as are processes that affect the exchange of mass and energy between ecosystems and the atmosphere. Ecosystem science deals with vegetation dynamics, ecosystem processes and biogeochemistry, among other things. The research is strongly oriented towards interdisciplinary studies of environmental and climate changes both in the local and global perspective. Applications and development of remote sensing-based methods for observing the Earth and analysis of geographic information are significant subject components.

Work duties

The PhD position is funded via the project “Resilient Ecosystems of Sweden: Promoting Sustainability through Continuous Cover Forestry and Wetland Rewetting”. The main aim with this project is to improve our understanding of the impact of forest management and wetland restoration on the ecosystem resilience against extreme weather events in Sweden. In recent decades, our planet has witnessed an increase in extreme weather events, and as these become more frequent and severe, understanding the resilience of ecosystems to withstand and recover from them becomes crucial for effective disaster management and sustainable development. The project has three objectives: 1) to map the ecosystem resilience to extreme weather events across Sweden using remote sensing techniques. 2) to study the impact of forest management strategies and wetland restoration projects on the ecosystem resilience, and 3) to disseminate project results to stakeholders across Sweden. New knowledge on climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies for Sweden will be generated. Results of the project will contribute to policy recommendations for guiding sustainable land use of boreal and temperate ecosystems.

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and doctoral education courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties, however to a maximum of 20% of the working time.

Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if they:

  • 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.

When starting, the applicant is expected to hold a university degree (M.Sc. or equivalent) in natural sciences, preferably in physical geography, ecosystem sciences or something equivalent. Proven experience in scientific writing, such as publications, theses, essays or similar in English is essential. We are looking for an independent and creative person who thrives in a dynamic research environment. We place high demands on ability to work goal-oriented and independently, but at the same time be able to closely collaborate with the wider research group as well as with societal actors. The applicant should be committed and focused, and be able to take responsibility for large parts of the research project. Documented experience of ecosystem sciences, remote sensing methods, and time series analysis are desirable merits.

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:

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

Other assessment criteria:

  • Experience with satellite based remote sensing.
  • Experience with time series analysis.
  • Experience with ecosystem sciences.
  • Good ability in handling large amounts of data.
  • Knowledge in wetland and forest ecology.
  • Knowledge about forest management and wetland restoration.
  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.

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

Terms of employment
Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. 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, contact information to at least two references, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.).


Welcome to apply!


Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment 2024-08-01 or due agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2024/337
  • Torbern Tagesson,
Union representative
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-2229366
Published 02.Feb.2024
Last application date 10.Mar.2024 11:59 PM CET

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